On Wednesday 18th January 2023, DHU Healthcare made a commitment by signing the Armed Forces Covenant, a pledge to support the armed forces community by treating them with fairness and respect.

The Armed Forces Covenant was published in May 2011 by Central Government and is a commitment that has been made in recognition of the sacrifices made by those who serve or have served on behalf of the country.

It is designed to ensure that our Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans and their families are treated fairly and have the same access to services as the civilian community has.

At DHU Healthcare we are very fortunate to boast a number of former servicemen and women, as well as reservists who continue to serve, supporting them in their work, training and development whilst encouraging others who have served with the armed forces to join our ranks.

In taking on this commitment, we agreed to uphold the key principles of the Covenant, which are:

  • No member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.

The full Covenant can be found here and you can learn more about our approach to fulfilling this in an article we posted on the day we signed the Covenant that you can find by clicking here.

Pictured right is our CEO Stephen Bateman alongside Captain Lewis, Tony Armstrong of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance, Stuart Ellis from the East Midlands branch of the Reserve Forces; and Cadets’ Associations and DHU’s Clinical Governance Lead Jillian Clemas who joined DHU from the RAF last October.

Pictured are members of DHU signing the Armed Forces Covenant

As part of Our Armed Forces Commitment, we would like to share awareness of the Op RESTORE programme. It is an NHS Service referred to as The Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service and mirrors our belief and wish to support individuals who have served or just leaving the armed forces. We know from the examples of our own people below, that it can be a jarring experience, made worse if the individual has continuing physical health injuries or related health conditions to cope with.

This leaflet explains more about the service and how it can help former service men and women.

As we mentioned earlier, a number of our colleagues have served with the armed forces and have been incredibly forthcoming with us to tell their story. Explaining what these people do for us and putting it in the context of their experiences within the armed forces, helps us to show the interchangeable skills these people have and give an insight into the personalities that make such a difference to the way we're able to care for our patients and develop our services. 

Here are some of the examples that we thought you might like to read...

Jillian Clemas - Clinical Governance Lead based in Leicester
Jillian served as a Critical Care Flight Nurse, a quite incredible role that involved bringing back injured personnel from within war zones and treating them, whilst in flight, in a helicopter or plane. An incredible amount of planning, skill and mental fortitude went into that role, all of which led to her developing the skills needed to train in Governance whilst with the RAF. She now fulfils that role with DHU healthcare and we were delighted to have her with us when we signed the Armed Forces Covenant and tell her story - you can read about her by clicking here.

Rob Shoosmith - Paramedic based in Chesterfield
Rob is a Reservist, currently serving in the armed forces with the RAF alongside a committed role in a hospital setting with DHU Healthcare. We work with the RAF to ensure Rob can fulfil his role as a Reservist without taking away too much of his holiday entitlement, ensuring his clinical work is covered whilst away and any training he needs is completed on his return. Both we at DHU and those at the RAF are respectful enough to see the mutual benefits of the various skills Rob develops with us and with the RAF and are delighted to work together to support that. You can read Rob's story, written in April 2023, by clicking here

Stuart Holman - Business Continuity and Emergency Preparadness, Resilience and Response Lead
Stuart servd with the RAF as a policeman in the military and used the expertise he gained working in that role to carve out a succesful career in security analytics and with us, business continuity. He spoke to us very openly about the jarring switch from life in the armed forces that highlights precisely why organisations such as DHU is increasingly looking to support people who find themselves in Stuart's position now. It is an interesting and revealing read, you can read Stuart's story by clicking here.

Chris Rowe - Head of Talent Acquisition
Chris wanted a career in the armed forces from a very early age and became an Aircraft Techinician before rebadging to the Royal Military Police. Chris tells a revealing story of regimented timetables, working with men who had a lot of military experience at an early age and a strong sense of camaraderie, all of which changed again when he reverted back to civilian life. Another story that shows why the Armed Forces Covenant is an important part of our organisation, you can read Chris' experiences by clicking here.

Bronze and Silver Award Status
Within six months of signing the Armed Forces Covenant, we managed to secure the Bronze and Silver Awards to enhance our reputation as a 'Forces Friendly' organisation. Much of the groundwork had already been laid and we are now on a mission to attain Gold Award status by extending our influence and increasing our support for colleagues who have and currently serve. You can read about our awards by following the below links...

Bronze Award - Click Here
Silver Award - Click Here.

The NHS website provides more information on the healthcare choices for the Armed Forces community, which can be accessed here.

You can find out more on the Armed Forces Covenant website.

Veterans’ Aware accreditation is awarded to reflect an NHS provider's commitment to deliver the best healthcare and support to veterans and their families.

We’ve volunteered to sign-up a series of pledges and submitted evidence to the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) to show how we’re currently meeting them.

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