Hospital bosses pay tribute to armed forces reserves

Hospital bosses marked Reserves Day with a celebratory lunch for its military volunteers in recognition of the contribution they make to the armed forces.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 5:01 pm
Kath Griffin, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts director of human resources and executive lead for the Armed Forces, with Lieutenant Colonel Stef Alexander, RAMC, commanding officer Defence School of Healthcare Education, centre, with Trust representatives and reservists, and Ministry of Defence personnel

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust saw Wednesday’s event as the ideal opportunity to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.

This represents the nation’s commitment to supporting those who serve or who have served by treating them fairly to give them equal access to everything from healthcare, education and starting a new career to financial assistance and having a home.

Previously, South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts had signed the covenant individually but the organisations merged in April. 

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In addition, the Trust reaffirmed its commitment to the Step into Health programme, which offers a route into employment in the NHS to members of the armed forces community.

Reservists make up about one sixth of Britain’s military personnel, with medical staff forming 13% of the UK’s overall reserves.

The Trust currently has eight employees who are reservists in the army, as well as an adult volunteer with the RAF Air Cadets.

Chief executive Ken Bremner said: “The reserve forces are crucial to protecting the nation’s security and their capability in specialist areas such as medicine is particularly important.

“We are very proud of our own reservists who have to balance their civilian and military lives and give up their spare time to serve. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and we wanted to show them that we recognise the valuable contribution that they make.”

“We value the transferable skills and cultural values that armed forces personnel develop, which are so compatible with working in the NHS.”