London North West Healthcare NHS Trust has received a Bronze award certificate under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for confirming its continuing support for members of the Armed Forces.
The scheme encourages employers to demonstrate support for the Armed Forces community and the Armed Forces Covenant and inspire others to do the same.
Bronze award holders promote themselves as Armed Forces friendly, supporting those who serve or have served the country. Many Bronze holders, such as London North West Healthcare, also have members of the Armed Forces, such as Reservists, on their books.
The Trust actively promotes the contribution of Reservists and offers them flexibility and paid leave to take time out of their civilian role for training and deployment.
Chief Executive Jacqueline Docherty DBE, said: “We are delighted to have achieved Bronze level in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. It demonstrates our longstanding commitment to Reservist staff members and the Armed Forces as a whole.
“We consistently find that the skills and experience developed by our Reservists during their training and mobilisation helps them to be even more effective when they return to our hospitals. The unique contribution of those who combine a career in the NHS and the Reserves is a valuable one and we are lucky to have them.”
Senior Sister Annette Bodden-Whisker is one of three Reservists who work at London North West Healthcare. Annette has worked at the Trust since 2008 and has been a Reservist nurse for ten years.
She said: “I joined the Army so that I could learn new skills, travel to new places, meet new people and work in a disciplined environment. Being a Reservist means that I can transfer skills I've gained in the Army into my job; skills such as leadership, communication, management skills, team building, resourcefulness and perseverance. Being a Reservist also helps me to be disciplined, organised and assertive.
“The Trust is very supportive of my role as a Reservist. They provide additional paid annual leave and offer flexibility around my training. I am very pleased that the Trust has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence in this way.”
The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched in 2014 and there are currently 120 employers in London with Bronze certificates.
Richard Wilton, Regional Employer Engagement Director – Greater London Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association said: “London North West Healthcare NHS Trust’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and positive approach towards Reservists are really welcome. The Trust can offer excellent clinical and non-clinical career opportunities for members of the Armed Forces and benefit from their first class skills in return. We look forward to working closely with the Trust and helping them shape new initiatives.”
The Armed Forces Covenant was created to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, both past and present, and their families are treated with fairness and respect and receive the same access to services as any other citizen.