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Shadow Minister praises national veterans’ project during visit to Solihull care home

The Shadow Minister for Veterans has visited Royal Star & Garter to learn more about a new project which boosts care for ex-Armed Forces personnel.

Steve McCabe MP came to the charity’s Home in Solihull to see the Veteran Friendly Framework (VFF) in action, on Tuesday 13 February.

Following the visit, the Birmingham, Selly Oak MP praised the Home, and said: “I think the Veteran Friendly Framework is exactly the kind of structure we should be trying to develop and build on.”

The VFF aims to tackle loneliness and isolation, by providing resources to care homes to better support their veterans. It will deliver improved health and wellbeing outcomes for over 25,000 veterans in England, and is a two-year collaboration between Armed Forces charities Royal Star & Garter, the Royal British Legion and the NHS Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA – an NHS flagship Armed Forces programme), with funding support from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

Mr McCabe was given a tour by Royal Star & Garter’s Chief Executive Andy Cole, and the Home Manager Jamie Stubbs. During his visit, he dropped into a song and dance session, met residents enjoying a game of dominos, and chatted to staff. 

Afterwards, Mr McCabe said: “I’m really impressed with Royal Star & Garter in Solihull, it’s a wonderful facility and it’s really nice to meet a number of the residents and to see how much they enjoy being here. I think the Veteran Friendly Framework is exactly the kind of structure we should be trying to develop and build on. There’s a question on how many homes you can have dedicated to veterans in various parts of the country, but with the VFF you can actually dedicate the right levels of support and make sure people feel welcome and that their past service is recognised. So I was really interested to hear about the work that’s been done here and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it in the future.”

Andy Cole, Royal Star & Garter’s Chief Executive, said: “As a charity which provides outstanding care to our Armed Forces community, it was a pleasure to welcome Mr McCabe to our Solihull Home, and to discuss the VFF in greater detail. The VFF is already having a huge impact on some of the 25,000 veterans living in care homes in England, and we look forward to it benefiting the care and wellbeing of many more.”

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Its Home in Solihull was one of the first care homes in England to attain VFF status, and its other Homes in Surbiton and High Wycombe are also VFF-approved.

Care providers must meet eight standards to attain VFF-status. These include provisions to identify the wellbeing needs of veterans and their partners by ensuring that Armed Forces status is included in care planning; addressing social isolation; and providing signposting to local statutory and charitable support services.

The Veteran Friendly Framework launched in October 2023. To date, 17 care homes have attained VFF status, 54 are going through the process and more than 80 are in active discussion.

Any care homes interested in receiving more information about the VFF can visit http://veteranfriendlyframework.org.uk, email VFF@starandgarter.org or call 07425 326070.

Royal Star & Garter in Solihull is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work at the Home, go to www.starandgarter.org/solihull

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