Our commitment to the Armed Forces community

The values held by members of the Armed Forces Community closely align with the NHS ways of working and values, with particular emphasis on service, commitment and respect. This is why we as a Trust will endeavour to improve services and employment opportunities to enable the community to fully integrate within the organisation.

As a supporter of the Armed Forces, we are proud to be a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant from 2021, being certified as an ‘Armed Forces Government Bronze’ employer, pledging to support all with an armed forces background.

We proactively demonstrate our forces-friendly credentials within our recruitment and selection processes, by having a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for those indicated as part of the Armed Forces Community. We employ veterans and reservists from differing branches of the Armed Forces and actively promote our positive policies for the Armed Forces Community, including our Special Leave policy.

We advocate support for defence people issues, including facilitating easier access to Healthcare Services for our patients within the Armed Forces Community. We will support employees through Reservist training, through Additional Leave for their training and ongoing support under our Special Leave policy. Please also see our Armed Forces Covenant Poster.

We are now working to strengthen our commitment and are currently working to our silver award.

For updates on this contact Head of EDIE and Armed Forces Chair Sammie Boatema-Cooke.

We at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are: 

Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.

Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved. This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. Recognising those who have performed military duty unites the country and demonstrates the value of their contribution.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families bring to our business. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • Promoting the fact that we are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.
  • Seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old, and pro-actively support members of the Armed Forces Community.
  • Endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment.
  • Seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible.
  • Aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day.

As part of the Trusts ongoing commitment there is also an Armed-Forces Strategic group which meets quarterly, this group is chaired by Exec Director of Strategy Sue Harris and Co-chaired by the Head of EDIE Samantha Boatema-Cooke.

In attendance at these meetings are, Associate Directors, Heads of Service from clinical service provision, Head of Workforce, HR, the Armed Forces Regional Lead, Senior Advisor (RMN) Working with Ex-Military Personnel and their families in Herefordshire, Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Officer.

This group are responsible for reviewing aspects of the Armed Forces Act, Armed Forces Covenant and Veteran Aware”, as well as reviewing/advising on Trust processes and policies (both clinical and Workforce), training requirements, promotion of the Act, Armed Forces awards for staff to managers and team leads to support staff and what this means regarding access to information and support for our service users who are veterans or part of the Armed Forces Community.