On Armed Forces Day 2020 (Saturday 27 June) Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has formally thanked the military for their support during Covid-19 and made a national pledge to veterans, serving personnel and their families by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
In a ‘virtual’ ceremony, Trust Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins and Chairman Sir David Nicholson signed the declaration alongside Colonel Damian Griffin TD, Commanding Officer 202 Field Hospital, to formally recognise the value that serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families contribute to the county’s hospitals and our country and formally recognise the additional support the armed services have given to the Trust over the last few months.
Trust Chief Executive, Matthew Hopkins said: "I am delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant – particularly on Armed Forces Day – which is our promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly in our hospitals.
"In signing the document, we set out our commitment and support to members of the Armed Forces Community who work in our organisation or access our services.
"Our staff include many reservists, armed forces leavers and military families, and we are grateful for the skills that these experiences bring to the Trust, helping us to deliver our purpose to put patients first. The covenant also focusses on helping members of the armed forces community have the same access to our services as any other citizen."
Sir David Nicholson added: “The support of the military has been particularly vital for our hospitals during the extremely challenging period that we have found ourselves in over the last few months, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We have been grateful for additional support from the armed forces for our supply chain for PPE, and in operating our incident management – just a few examples of how we can work together to share skills with our armed forces colleagues. And so it gives me even greater pleasure to sign this covenant and give our commitment to supporting our armed forces and their families.”
Col Damian Griffin – who is also a Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery and part of the regional and national military response team who helped build the NHS Birmingham Nightingale Hospital - said: “It’s been amazing to see how well the army and the NHS have worked together during this recent crisis for the benefit of everyone.
"I am hoping that in the future we will have much more of that because we can learn so much from each other. Thank you for your recognition of the armed forces and your relationship with them by signing the Covenant today.”
By signing the Covenant, the Trust promises to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant which include:
- Seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers;
- Striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners;
- 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;
- Offering support to local Cadet units;
- Aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day