Celebration of Armed Forces Day and landmark NHS birthday at Bomber Command Centre

Local NHS mental health services are celebrating Armed Forces Day and the 70th birthday of the NHS this weekend as part of a number of activities for the Armed Forces community.

Armed Forces Day, which takes place officially on Saturday 30 June, is an annual opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community; including those currently serving, their families, veterans, and cadets.

As part of the celebrations Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) has been hosting a special event at the recently opened International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln, focusing on mental health wellbeing, and how current NHS services and charities support veterans and their families.

Hosted by the Trust’s Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), the event played host to local health staff and members of the Armed Forces community, with presentations from local LPFT services, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, and Lincolnshire County Council who gave an overview of the Armed Forces Covenant. Attendees were also treated to a tour of the new International Bomber Command Centre.

Paula Jelly, Regional Veterans Lead, said: “Today gave us an ideal opportunity to highlight the support available for our Armed Forces community in Lincolnshire, but also to celebrate and pay tribute to past servicemen and women. At LPFT we are an Armed Forces friendly trust, we reinforced this when we signed the Armed Forces Covenant, and we were awarded the Employer Defence Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award late last year.”

Councillor Jackie Kirk from City of Lincoln Council attended the event and said: “This is the perfect location and setting for today’s conference, including being able to look out over the incredible memorial spire. It’s been an exceptional day full of emotive and informative sessions teaching us about some of the history of Bomber Command, and the variety of support available in Lincolnshire for the Armed Forces community.”

In addition to this event, LPFT’s TILS service will also be manning a stand in Lincoln’s High Street and Cornhill at this weekend’s City of Lincoln Armed Forces Day event on Saturday 30 June.

As well as entertainment, military vehicle displays and stands from a wide range of organisations and charities for veterans and those serving in the Armed Forces, there will also be an official opening by VIPs and local dignitaries.

And if that wasn’t enough to celebrate this Armed Forces Day and NHS 70th birthday, the TILS service has also discovered this week that they have been shortlisted as part of the Midlands and East partnership in this year’s prestigious national Nursing Times Awards.

The Midlands and East Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), which LPFT delivers in Lincolnshire, has been shortlisted in the Mental Health Nursing category for their dedicated service offering increased access to local services for veterans struggling with their mental health.

Kate Davies, NHS England’s Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces Health and Sexual Assault Services Commissioning who commissioned the service in April 2017, said:

“It is fantastic to see the Midlands and East TILS team recognised. TILS is making a significant difference for veterans who are struggling with their mental health and I am delighted that just over a year after the service launched, and in the 70th year of the NHS, that the team is being recognised. Most importantly the service has been informed by veterans and their families, helping to ensure that those who have served get the care and treatment they so rightly deserve.”