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We are BCHC

Veteran Aware

BCHC has been awarded the Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance’s Veteran Aware Accreditation, meaning that we are now a Veteran Aware Trust.

Veteran Aware logoSupporting the Armed Forces Community


How BCHC and the wider NHS are making life a little easier for staff and patients from the Armed Forces Community.


A veteran is anyone who has served at least one day in the Armed Forces and veterans make up around 10% of the population: the Armed Forces Community is far larger; it includes serving Regular Forces and Reservists, veterans and their families.


The Armed Forces Community (including currently serving personnel, veterans, and reservists, spouses, and children) face two particular challenges relevant to the NHS and to BCHC:

  • Accessing healthcare – the demands of the Armed Forces can create challenges in accessing NHS services. 
  • Accessing employment opportunities at the Trust – the Armed Forces Community have highly transferable and valuable skills and there is a desire to ensure these skills are attracted into the NHS.


BCHC is committed to supporting the Armed Forces Community and that's why we have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.


We are also proud to share that as of 10 April 2024 we have been awarded the Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA)'s Veteran Aware Accreditation. 


This page provides some information on our commitment, as well as education information to support both colleagues and patients from the Armed Forces Community.

Veteran Aware Accreditation

Veteran Aware Accreditation


Veteran Aware Accreditation is awarded by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).


The Manifesto is an agreed framework of eight standards that imbue Armed Forces Covenant principles and how they relate to the NHS.


It is against these standards that Veteran Aware accreditation is measured. The aim is to identify and highlight the best standards of care for the armed forces community and to drive the implementation of proven practice in the treatment to these groups across the UK.


To achieve Veteran Aware accreditation, organisations must complete an evidence-based assessment of how they are meeting, or plan to meet, the manifesto standards as part of the accreditation process.


The standards are:

Veteran Aware Standards

In March 2024 we submitted our evidence-based assessment on how we are meeting, or plan to meet, these standards as part of the accreditation process. Our journey towards this accreditation has been a collaborative effort, with teams from across BCHC coming together to ensure that we meet the highest standards of care and support for our Armed Forces Community members. We were awarded Veteran Aware Status in April 2024 and will be re-accredited in early 2025.


If you'd like to use the Veteran Aware logo on any internal materials, please get in touch with the Programme Lead or approach the communications team.

Armed Forces Covenant

The Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve, or have served and their families to be treated fairly. It gained royal assent in December 2021 and is now passed into law with a legal obligation to pay ‘due regard’ effective from 22 November 2022.


Healthcare providers are expected to:

  • Ensure this community does not experience disadvantage as a result of their service compared to other citizens.
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases for those who have given the most such as the injured or bereaved.
  • Family members should retain their places on NHS waiting lists if moved around the UK due to the service person being posted.
  • Veterans should receive priority treatment for a service-related health condition/injury, subject to clinical need.
  • Cared for in a way which reflects the nation’s moral obligation and by healthcare professionals with an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.


BCHC signed the Armed Forces Covenant in November 2023.


The Covenant underscores our commitment to treating those who serve and their families fairly. It affirms our dedication to ensuring that the Armed Forces community does not experience disadvantages due to their service and we pledge to uphold this moral obligation.


Armed Forces Covenant

Veteran support services

There are a range of services available to the armed forces community because of the unique difficulties armed forces personnel may face. For example, the transition from military to civilian life can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. Veterans may experience a range of difficulties, including with mental and physical health, employment, finding accommodation, debt and finances. Additionally, the demands of military life can lead to strained relationships and social isolation.

Being in the armed forces can not only impact the individual but also their loved ones. Changes brought on by a loved one’s absence can be difficult for partners, children and families to adjust to. Partners and families may also face struggles when a military person who was absent returns and navigates the adjustment to civilian life. Furthermore, Armed Forces families sometimes have to adjust to frequent relocation due to their partner or parent being required to train at various bases across the UK.


There are many NHS services and veteran charities that provide support for both the individual and their family. Veteran services aim to aid veterans and their loved ones in navigating the mental and physical health challenges and social needs they encounter post military service. By extending support to a veteran’s close support network, loved ones can better understand veterans' needs and be provided with the tools to offer effective support.


Support services available:
Op Courage

Op COURAGE is the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing service. They provide psychological therapy, peer support and support with other health and social needs.

0300 323 0137 OpCOURAGE_Leaflet 2021.pdf [pdf] 272KB
Op Restore Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service.
• Provides specialist care and support to veterans who have physical health problems as a result of their time in the Armed Forces. Uses a network of clinicians across England who have a military background and /or an understanding of the military Op RESTORE leaflet Aug 23.pdf [pdf] 5MB
Op Fortitude Service for veterans in housing crisis or at risk.
• Provides a centralised referral pathway for veterans experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their current home.
0800 952 0774 Referral Form OpFORTITUDE One Pager.pdf [pdf] 167KB
Op Nova Service for veterans in contact with the justice system.
• Support with debt, health issues, mental health, employment, drug and alcohol misuse.
0800 9177299  

Veterans Welfare Service

The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) provides a professional help and advice service to veterans or anyone supporting a veteran, their families and dependants. 01562 825527 A_guide_to_the_Veterans_Welfare_Service.pdf [pdf] 103KB
Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion helps members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families.  They support serving and ex-serving personnel all year round, every day of the week. Their support starts after one day of service and continues through life, long after service is over.

0808 802 8080 Online Chat  

SSAFA Birmingham

SSAFA can help provide practical, financial and emotional support for service personnel, veterans and their families.

020 4566 9116  
Little Troopers

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all military children who have parent(s) serving in our British Armed Forces, regular or reserve.  
Blind Vets UK Blind Veterans UK can help individuals to live a fulfilling, independent life after sight loss. 0800 389 7979    


Charity that supports limbless veterans for the duration of their lives, offering financial and emotional support to them and their families. 020 8590 1124  

Fighting with Pride

Fighting With Pride supports the health and wellbeing of LGBT+Veterans, service personnel and their families – in particular those most impacted by the ban on LGBT+ personnel serving in the Armed Forces prior to January 2000.   Contact Form  

The Veterans Contact Point (Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire)

They provide a confidential, free service for veterans and their families living and working in Coventry and Warwickshire.                       02476 343793  

Veteran and Armed Forces community groups

Community groups:

Birmingham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club

The Birmingham Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club is the heart of veteran camaraderie, often referred to as Birmingham AFVBC. As a proud member of the worldwide network of Veterans Breakfast Clubs, they are dedicated to fostering connections, offering support, and providing a welcoming and safe space for veterans in the Birmingham Area. Join them at Birmingham AFVBC where the spirit of "By Veterans for Veterans" thrives. All services are welcome: Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army Royal Air Force etc (serving or veterans).

Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club

A list of links for all Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs in the Midlands.

The Royal Army Medical Corps Association (Birmingham Branch)

This Charity is for serving, ex-serving and families of the members of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). The objects of The RAMC Charity are: To promote the of the Army and in particular the RAMC in such charitable ways, including; maintaining contact with present and past members, fostering esprit de corps, to provide relief for those in need and to promote military medical research.

Federation of Birmingham Ex Service Association

The Federation of Birmingham Ex-Service Associations, was established in 1951 by Les Male to provide a unified platform for ex-servicemen and women seeking camaraderie and social connections post-WWII. Stemming from the need to replace the sense of companionship experienced during service, the Federation brings together various Regimental Associations under one banner, while still allowing each association to operate independently. Through parades, social events, and the annual Remembrance Day Parade, the Federation fosters a sense of esprit de corps and honors fallen comrades. Additionally, the Federation extends its support to non-military groups such as War Widows and the Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association. As a message to all ex-service personnel, the Federation encourages continued association and support for their respective associations, emphasizing a warm welcome for those whose regiments or corps have disbanded. This enduring commitment underscores the collective service and sacrifices made, with a pledge to always stand by serving and injured personnel.

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)

• Enjoy social events and get involved.

• Take part in ceremonial events, e.g. by application to the Association for tickets to the Field of Remembrance or the Cenotaph ceremony in London.

• Grants to offset personal contributions of those participating in Battlefield Tours.

• Be part of your local branch and receive more benefits

• Be part of the wider QARANC Community 

Our patients and their carers and families are the reason we're here, so we want to hear your views about the Trust and our services.