Launch of Veteran Friendly Framework (VFF)
Thanks to a major collaboration between The Royal British Legion, Royal Star & Garter, and the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA, a Veteran Friendly Framework (VFF) for care homes has just been launched.
Currently around 20 of the 15,000 care homes in the UK offer specific support to those who have served in the UK Armed Forces.
The aim of the partnership is to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst veterans. And to deliver improved health and wellbeing outcomes for over 25,000 veterans living in care homes across the country.
To achieve this care homes will be provided with training and resources to assess and improve their offer. This will ensure they can better support the practical, emotional, and social needs of the Armed Forces community in residential care homes Care providers will need to meet eight standards to complete their accreditation.
– Understanding and signing the Armed Forces Covenant
– Having a designated Armed Forces Community Champion/s to support and deliver the framework
– Ensuring that Armed Forces Community status is included in people’s care plans
– Sharing a person’s Armed Forces Community status with clinical services to ensure they receive appropriate care
– Ensuring staff are trained and educated in the needs of the Armed Forces Community
– Establishing links to local services for the Armed Forces Community
– Supporting the UK Armed Forces as an employer
– Raising awareness of the Armed Forces Community
Initial pilot phase
During this phase, ten care homes met the required standards including all Royal Star & Garter and five Royal British Legion homes (with a sixth and final home about to achieve accreditation).
A further 20 care homes are in the process of gaining VFF accreditation. The scheme aims to accredit hundreds more care homes over the next 18 months.
Already there are proven benefits for residents as a result of identifying members of the Armed Forces who had not previously shared their status as veterans. This has included connecting individuals within their homes. Plus creating friendships and vital social interactions because of their service.
The Framework has also been praised by government minister The Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP and Professor Deborah Sturdy CBE, the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England.
Royal British Legion, Director General Charles Byrne shared:
Most veterans are cared for in civilian homes that in some cases, may not fully understand their social, emotional, or physical needs. The exciting potential of this project is to raise the standards of care received by all members of the Armed Forces community living in all care homes. We want to showcase the thought and creativity that goes into care for veterans so it can be shared across the sector.