Publish date: 24 January 2023


DHU Healthcare has pledged its support for colleagues who have served in the armed forces or currently serving as a reserve, by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

It’s a commitment from DHU Healthcare to support the Armed Forces community and recognise the significant value and contribution that serving personnel, past and present, contribute to its services and the wider community.

The Covenant was signed in January by Chief Executive 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.

"An essential part of DHU's services..."

DHU Healthcare Chief Executive Stephen Bateman said: “The Covenant aims to make sure that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect and face no disadvantage. We know that we are fortunate enough to have a number of former servicemen and women working for us here and proud to have featured some of them in prominent articles to showcase how the skills they have learnt have become an essential part of DHU’s services and the provision of patient care.

“This occasion represents the diversity of both the armed forces and the NHS in terms of the variety of careers and the desire to serve, protect and provide for the public. I hope that, by signing this covenant in the presence of some of those colleagues, that we have cemented our commitment to them and underlined our relationship with the armed forces and those who join our ranks in the future.”

Jillian Clemas is Clinical Governance Lead at DHU, joining directly from the RAF in October 2022. She added: “I’ve developed a number of life skills, proving without a doubt that I can work under pressure, I can’t think of a more intense environment to deliver care than in the back of a helicopter under fire. There’s teamwork, leadership skills, working autonomously and knowing what needs to be done. Attention to detail is instilled into you at every turn and that’s a key part of my governance role.

“I think the work DHU has done with colleagues in the armed forces is superb and it can be a difficult transition so working in an organisation, in a team that recognises that is a comfort. The RAF isn’t just a job, it’s a whole way of life and I have a lot of friends for life with whom I’ve been through a lot. The sacrifices they make, that I made, is something I’m very proud of and will always look back on with affection as I look forward to this new challenge.”

Captain Oliver Lewis is the Adjutant at 162 Regiment RLC, an Army Reserve Regiment in the British Army’s Royal Logistical Corps. He said: “I’m delighted to represent the Armed Forces to witness this signing and pleased to hear about some of the great things being done at DHU Healthcare to support and champion former servicemen and women.

"A genuine comfort..."

“The Covenant has made a real positive impact and there is a great deal of support in place now that perhaps wasn’t around 20 years ago. For example, if I were to leave the Armed Forces I know I have a lot of transferrable skills that would benefit a number of organisations and looking at companies who have signed the Covenant; for me that would be an indicator of how open and appreciative they are of my history and service.

“I work with a lot of Reservists who need up to ten days of commitment to the service each year and some of them aren’t comfortable informing potential employers of this commitment. They know that if a company has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, that organisation will support them in upholding that commitment without discrimination. That is a genuine comfort to these men and women and something they may actively seek when looking for employment.”

We are now working towards achieving the bronze award, to find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant visit

Pictured above (left to right):

Kirsty Lawrence, Deputy Regional Employer Engagement Director, Reserve Forces and Cadets (RFCA) 
Joanne Finney, Head of Clinical Audit and Quality Improvement, DHU Healthcare
Captain Oliver Lewis, Adjutant at 162 Regiment RLC
Stephen Bateman, Chief Executive, DHU Healthcare
Tony Armstrong, Widening Scope Projects Lead, Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance
Jillian Clemas, Clinical Governance Lead, DHU Healthcare

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