Posted: Sat 10th Feb 2024

North Wales health board reinforces commitment to Armed Forces community for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has reinforced its pledge to support the Armed Forces community by re-signing the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC).

Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive of the Health Board, signed the covenant along with Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Adrian Williams, to demonstrate the continued intention to ensure that the Armed Forces community are not disadvantaged in the care they receive and where possible, that they receive personalised care and improve patient outcomes.

This includes regular serving and reserve personnel, veterans and their families.

Since 2022 the Health Board has set up various programmes and initiatives to help improve its support for the Armed Forces community.

This includes the North Wales Veterans Healthcare Collaborative (NWVHC), and the re-accreditation by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), receiving gold for the second time, for its support and salutes to the past and present Armed Forces community.

At a signing ceremony Carol said: “I have been learning a lot about the work we’ve been doing as a health board to support the armed forces community, and I’ve seen a real commitment.

Carol Shillabeer and Adrian Williams

“As the wife of a veteran, it’s great to see the Armed Forces community sits within our leadership teams, including our Executive Medical Director Nick Lyons, an RAF Veteran, and our Director of Operations (East), Ian Donnelly Army Veteran (Royal Artillery).

“We have people with experience at all levels within our organisation and that adds to the fabric of our community here in the Health Board.

“This Health Board welcomes people from the armed forces as a workplace that their career can thrive in, and the support that we give as a core health service provider. It’s therefore a pleasure to sign the covenant today.”

Alongside BCUHB senior leaders, the signing ceremony included Sargeant Norma Filmer, 203 Field Hospital, Tony Fish, Regional Employer Engagement Director (North), Reserve Forces’ and Cadet Association for Wales, Mark Birkill Veterans NHS Wales Team Leader, Kate Jackson Veterans Clinical Lead for Ysbty Glan Clwyd, Ian Pritchard Armed Forces Liaison Officer, and Zoe Roberts, BCUHB Armed Forces Lead.

Also speaking at the ceremony Adrian said: “It’s great to see people here from different forces today, it’s very much all of us together.

“As we’ve resigned the covenant and we’ve gone through some of the commitments behind the covenant we can see it’s very important for our serving and veteran community across North Wales.

“What we’ve signed today and re-pledged is really important to this community and we are grateful for what’s been done, and we look forward to keeping working in partnership and we know you’re sharing what’s working well here with other Health Boards.”

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