Armed Forces support organisations: who’s who for employers in the NHS

Find out who you can go to for support with specific Armed Forces employment issues

14 December 2021

Ever find yourself wondering which organisation to turn to for support with Armed Forces employment issues?

Step into Health has created a helpful map of organisations which engage with NHS trusts and organisations on the employment of members of the Armed Forces community.  NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI), Defence Relationship Management (DRM) and the Veterans’ Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) also advise on issues outside of employment, such as Armed Forces’ health.

Organisations include:

The NHSEI Armed Forces team

This team commissions the VCHA programme, which is hosted by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. NHSEI also commissions Step into Health, which is hosted by NHS Employers. Visit the NSHEI Armed Forces page.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD)

These organisations jointly commission NHS Employers’ supporting reservists programme. Visit the DHSC page and the MOD page.

The Office for Veterans' Affairs (OVA)

This sits within the Cabinet Office and advises other government departments, including DHSC and MOD, on veterans’ issues. Visit the OVA page.

The Defence Relationship Management (DRM) team

DRM is part of the MOD and is hosted by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA). DRM is responsible for the Armed Forces Covenant and the Employer Recognition Scheme. DRM employs regional employer engagement directors (REEDs) who engage with NHS organisations. Visit The DRM team page.

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA)

The VCHA is a group of NHS providers which have volunteered to be exemplars of the best care for and support to the Armed Forces community. One of its manifesto pledges focuses on employment of members of the Armed Forces community. You need to pledge to Step into Health in order to gain your veteran aware accreditation. VCHA has regional leads who engage with NHS organisations. Visit the VCHA page

The Step into Health programme

This is hosted by NHS Employers and supports members of the Armed Forces community to gain employment in the NHS. The programme provides resources and support to NHS organisations and members of the Armed Forces community. Visit the Step into Health programme page.

The supporting Armed Forces medical reservists in the NHS programme

This programme provides advice and resources to help NHS organisations to actively support reservists in their workforce. Visit the supporting reservists in the NHS programme page.

*Commissioning lines are denoted in red on the map.


Find contact details for the above organisations on our Armed Forces support organisations web page. For more information on how NHS Employers’ Armed Forces programme teams can support you, visit our dedicated web pages or email