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Support for the Armed Forces Community

For several years now, UHMBT have been actively building upon our commitment to be an organisation which supports the armed forces community as both a healthcare provider and as an employer.

The Trust signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 and pledged our support for Trust employees as reservists and veterans, and in September of that year became one of the first 30 organisations to pledge to Step Into Health. The following year, we received a Silver Award under the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) for our support to the Armed Forces community.

The Trust was named a Veteran Aware Trust in September 2021 in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care and support for veterans, reservists, members of the Armed Forces and their families.

Awarded by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), the Veteran Aware mark highlights NHS trusts which have made a series of pledges, such as ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, training staff on veteran-specific needs, and supporting the armed forces as an employer.

We were acknowledged for our commitment to a number of areas, including:

  • Training relevant staff on veteran specific culture or needs
  • Ensuring that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients, in line with the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Providing information to ensure that veterans, reservist and service families are aware of appropriate charities or NHS services beneficial to them for example mental health services or support with financial and/or benefit claims
  • Supporting the armed forces as an employer

We are proud to be a Veteran Aware Trust, and are one of growing number nationally to have gained this accolade.

UHMBT received a Gold Award under the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) for our support to the Armed Forces community.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Gold award holders:

  • must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant
  • employers must have an existing relationship with their National Account Manager/REED/appropriate defence representative
  • the employer must already be demonstrating support by holding a valid ERS Silver Award. Employers that do not hold a valid ERS Silver Award cannot progress to the Gold level
  • the employer must proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes. Where possible, they should be engaged with Career Transition Partnership (CTP) in the recruitment of service leavers and have registered for the Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) portal
  • the employer must actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must have an internally publicised and positive human resources policy on Reserves
  • the employer must be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results
  • within the context of Reserves the employer must have demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must provide at least 10 days’ additional leave for training, fully paid, to the Reservist employee
  • the employer must not have been the subject of any negative public relations or media activity

Find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Having signed the Armed Forces Covenant, achieving the Employers Recognition Scheme Silver award and being a Step into Health advocate, the Armed Forces staff network provides support to the Armed Forces community. Working with colleagues and service users to ensure we understand the needs of everyone to help provide the right support and advice as well as participating in national and local events such as Armed Forces day and Remembrance Day parades.