Work to provide improved patient-centred support for service veterans in Stepping Hill Hospital and NHS services in the community has been recognised with an award nomination.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted in the ‘Public Sector Partner’ category by the Greater Manchester and Lancashire Royal British Legion in honour of their efforts to provide the right level of support all patient who have served in the armed services, which include an innovative new ‘Veterans passport’.
The veterans’ passport is a short handbook which the veteran owns and completes with as much or as little information as is important to them. The idea behind the passport is to enable a veteran to disclose information that they may wish to share with healthcare professionals in a way that is comfortable to them, therefore reducing the need to recall any information, which may involve retelling and re-living traumatic memories.
The information shared is beneficial in looking at the level of support and services that may be required to support the individual, once they have left the hospital.
There has been an extensive training programme rolled out for staff across the trust and within the GP settings, with a veterans action group established, that is supported by trust staff and veterans of all age groups . The passport project is currently the only one of its kind in the north west of England, and has generated a great deal of interest from other healthcare providers within Greater Manchester and as far afield as the Netherlands.
Kathryn Glass, Quality Practitioner and one of the leads on the project said “The passport came about after we addressed a concern that had been posted on our on line patient feedback system ‘Care Opinion’. One of our patients was experiencing great distress at having to repeat his story each time he came to our outpatient department. We then decided to look at a way of making the patient experience a more positive one, and by working together with veteran patients developed the passport to as a way to provide a more individualised support system. The passport has been a simple but effective way of providing the right level of information to enable the person to receive personalised care and support at a time when they need it the most.”
Alison Bunn, area manager from the Royal British Legion said: “The Royal British Legion is delighted that Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has pledged its support to our armed forces and has implemented the new Veterans’ Passport which, alongside other policies and procedures, will alert medical and nursing staff to any veterans or their family. This means that they can provide our armed forces community with more tailored and responsive healthcare, and linking in with ourselves and other support agencies will ensure that veterans will get the best possible support.”