NHS and the Ministry of Defence - working together to support reservists

armed forces

27 / 10 / 2014 8.59am

NHS Employers, in partnership the with Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Health, NHS England and Health Education England, is currently hosting six regional events promoting the benefits of employing and supporting reservists within NHS organisations.

The first event in Manchester held last week, was attended by NHS representatives interested in gaining a greater understanding of the relationship between the NHS, the MoD and the reservists in their workforce.

The content of the event, which comprised a number of speakers including reservists, was rated overall as ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ by 100 per cent of delegates. In addition, 92.8 per cent of attendees said that their objectives were fully met.

Further positive feedback from delegates included how the event helped them to:

  • gain a better understanding of how reservists can bring added value to the NHS/support organisations objectives
  • establish key facts about reservists
  • obtain marketing materials to increase the number of reservists in my NHS trust
  • understand implications of mobilisation for my area and organisation.

Brigadier Peter Gilbert was the first speaker, outlining the MoD’s commitment to reservists and the benefits that military training brings to both the individual and the NHS. He also introduced the new Corporate Covenant – a voluntary pledge to demonstrate support to the Armed Forces - that all NHS trust are now eligible to be nominated/ apply for.

The most inspiring presentations came from the reservists who shared their experiences. Capt. Katy Newton described the skills she has gained from working as a surgeon at Camp Bastion and how this has enriched her medical career. Lt Col Pat Cook, who is an advanced practitioner in neurosurgery, reflected on her time leading the tented field hospital in Iraq and how the training offered to her as a reservist has paid dividends to her team in Salford.

Finally, the North West director of SaBRE (Support for Britain's Reservists & Employers), Steve Wotherspoon, gave the audience an overview of the help and support, including financial, legal and general advice, which is available to employers of reservists.

If you would like to engage with the MoD on the challenges you currently face, or anticipate, in supporting staff that volunteer in the Armed Forces, this is an excellent opportunity to give your view. Your participation at the event will not only equip us with a greater knowledge of these issues but also provide a clear direction to finding solutions to overcome them.

The next NHS and MoD events are being held in Bristol, London, Cambridge, York and Birmingham. For more details and to register your place, visit our events pages.

We welcome representation from those who employ reservists and those who would like to offer this opportunity to their staff.

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