Derbyshire NHS trust first to support Armed Forces Covenant

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in the county to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in support of employing reservist personnel within the NHS.

The trust is also the first to introduce three weeks’ paid leave for reservists to carry out their armed forces duties, as part of its commitment to employing reservists and encouraging heath service staff to consider it as an option.

The covenant recognises ‘the value serving personnel, regulars and reservists, veterans and military families contribute to our business and our country’. It is a public declaration of an organisation’s commitment to be armed-forces friendly, whether that is in areas of treatment, employment or in supporting staff who choose the volunteer as reservists.

Prem Singh, chairman of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to make this public commitment to our armed forces in recognition of everything they do to keep us safe every day. There’s a huge skill set which people develop as reservists and which the NHS can benefit from in return if we support people to take up the opportunities which are out there. We are looking at how we can support our reservists and how can we attract more colleagues to consider becoming reservists.”

Duncan Jenkins, commanding officer from 162 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, said: “Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust is a leading light, not just in Derbyshire, but nationally in terms of the support shown to reservists.”

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