An evaluation and critical analysis of the impact of the Aged Veterans Fund
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
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AbstractThere has been research on the numbers and needs of an ageing society yet, relatively little is known about the specific needs of older veterans, and the effectiveness of services specifically developed to meet these needs. In 2016 and 2017, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust funded invested £30 million to the Aged Veterans Fund (AVF) programme. This consisted of 19 portfolio projects to support health, wellbeing, and social care needs for older veterans (born before 1st January 1950) and their families. This report explores the impact of the AVF, with the intent of informing service providers, stakeholders and policy makers, of the lessons learned and the next steps required for the support of older veterans. A retrospective evaluation focused on both the impact of the processes adopted by the programmes, and the outcomes achieved, was commissioned. Qualitative analysis was performed on 78 eligible source documents, from which 10 recurrent themes were identified. Themes focused on the methodology and evaluations adopted by the projects, the number of beneficiaries reached, challenges encountered, associated costs and savings. In addition, the study identified projects outreach and sustainability, including staff, volunteers and clients perceptions of the services. Finally, there are results regarding the related health and wellbeing benefits, behaviour change and influences on the UK National Health Service (NHS) practice. The findings indicated that project promotion, partnership and collaboration was strong, which provides a foundation for the sustainability and outreach of some of the programmes. The AVF programmes were successfully rolled out via referrals, but this was not without challenges such as capacity, uptake, staffing and timelines issues. Two primary approaches were adopted. The first being a person-centred care approach, that takes into consideration the complex needs of the individual. The second was a skill-exchange model consisting of peers passing on their skills to beneficiaries. The results provided compelling evidence that the AVF initiatives were successful and were positively perceived by beneficiaries, staff and volunteers. Evidence was found on the impact of the fund on boosting resilience in the beneficiaries, by reducing social isolation and improving their health and wellbeing. Additionally, awareness was raised in the wider community, via the delivery of specific educational training to staff. In addition, AVF programmes influenced current health-care practice such as re-admission and discharge rates, via effective signposting and cross-referrals. The lessons learnt lead to recommendations and indicators for the next steps required to support older veterans and their families.
CitationDi Lemma, L., Howe, S. & Finnegan, A. (2020). An evaluation and critical analysis of the impact of the Aged Veterans Fund. The University of Chester Westminster Centre for Research in Ageing, Mental Health and Veterans and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
PublisherArmed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/