The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. We have been recognised by the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme with a Gold Award for our support of those who serve.

The Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is led by our Director of Quality and Chief Nurse, Matt Holdaway, and co-ordinated by our Quality Improvement and Project nurse, Debra Ritsperis.

The team of volunteers consists of 15 champions, all who have served in the Armed Forces or have some experience of military life. We have also recruited six of our staff who have volunteered to become Armed Forces Champions for our Trust.

Their roles within the Trust are varied, both clinical and non-clinical, offering a cross-section of experience including:

  • surgical
  • medical
  • maternity
  • emergency
  • mental health nursing

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

What we do

We work to embed the Armed Forces Covenant by using local Armed Forces resources and support services, to ensure improved health outcomes for serving personnel, veterans and their families who are patients in our Trust.

We have many staff working in our hospitals who have previously been members of the Armed Forces, have partners in the Armed Forces, or serve as Reservists. They are best placed to understand the difficulties these patients and their families experience, and the healthcare challenges they face.

Veteran Aware Hospital

A Veteran Aware Hospital means that we have committed to providing the best standards of care to the military community based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who have served in the Armed Forces as well as their families will be treated fairly and will not be disadvantaged. The Trust pledges to:

  • Raise awareness of Veterans and Armed Forces Community and invites serving personnel in the Reserves to join the Armed Forces Council and supports the annual NHS-Military Challenge with 243 Field Hospital in Bristol
  • Identify our Veteran and Armed Forces Family patients to ensure they receive the best care. Referral to our Armed Forces Advocates can facilitate applications for Regimental funds for enhanced mobility and social prescribing into military communities.
  • Educated staff in the needs of the Armed Forces community, on induction, ESR e-learning and on our intranet pages
  • Maintain a Veteran and Armed Forces Champion Team as subject matter experts for patient and staff experience
  • Establish links to appropriate Veteran and Armed Forces Community Services, working closely with the Veterans Hubs in Gloucester and Stroud
  • Refer Veteran patients to the NHS Veterans Trauma Network and Op Courage Mental Health Services as appropriate
  • Supports the UK Armed Forces as an employer, we have a Reserves policy and support families of Serving personnel to achieve reasonable adjustments in times of Armed Forces family turbulence
  • Maintain gold accreditation for Employer Recognition Scheme, facilitating up to 10 days’ paid leave annually for Armed Forces Service
  • Support the Step into Health programme to build relationships with Armed Forces leavers who desire to join the NHS in all of the employment opportunities
  • Register with Forces Families Jobs to actively encourage Armed Forces families into roles if local and into remote roles if living abroad
  • Work closely with our system partners with Gloucestershire County Council and Armed Forces Champions in the One Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Partnership

Find out about our Armed Forces Advocates and support for Veterans