Basingstoke’s hospital has struck gold for its support of the armed forces.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust scooped the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award for how they have facilitated the NHS’s Step into Health programme, which offers members of the armed forces an opportunity to undertake work attachments in the NHS when they approach the end of their service.
Donna Green, chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “Working closely with the armed forces has had a hugely positive impact on our trust.
“We are proud of the work we do to support both current and former service personnel and are delighted to have won this award.”
She added: “We have been able to identify and employ excellent staff across a wide range of job roles through the Step into Health programme, while we are also benefiting from the training and experience gained by reservists when they are with the forces.”
In 2015, Hampshire Hospitals became one of the first NHS trusts to offer the programme that could lead to employment or a guaranteed interview for qualified personnel.
The ERS Gold Award is the highest badge of honour for organisations that have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which ensures serving and veteran members and their families are treated fairly.
Employers such as the NHS are recognised through the awards for their support to the forces community.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “These companies have shown the gold standard of commitment to supporting members of the armed forces,” he said.
“They have taken meaningful steps to ensure the defence community are not disadvantaged by the sacrifice they make in helping keep this country safe.”