Ahead of Armed forces day on Saturday 24 June, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust alongside Liverpool Clinical Laboratories signed the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
The covenant recognises those individuals who have performed military duty uniting the country and demonstrates their valuable contribution. By signing the covenant, organisations will pledge support to those who have military service in a move towards becoming a military friendly employer.
Liverpool has one of the greatest concentrations of ex-service personnel in the country, and is the national host of Armed Forces Day this year.
To witness the signing of the AFC, representatives from the armed forces community including the army, navy and air force attended alongside veterans and reservists currently working in the NHS.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said, “It gives us great pride to sign the Armed Forces Covenant alongside our colleagues from Aintree and Liverpool Clinical Laboratories today.
“Having previously received the bronze award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), we hope signing the AFC further demonstrates our commitment and support from UK employers to defence personnel and their families.
We currently employ both veterans and reservist doctors and nurses throughout the Trust in a number of different specialities. “We also provide honorary contracts and work placement opportunities to military personnel, and in order to support their personal development and help their transition to civilian life when they are planning to leave the services.
“We recognise the benefits of employing veterans as they possess great qualities such as teamwork, leadership, flexibility, dependability, integrity, loyalty, and have experience of working in culturally diverse environments, and that by having them work within our team at the Royal enhances the care we deliver to our patients.
From a clinical point of view, we regularly see the ex-military personnel as patients, returning to our services, especially through our Emergency Department. To help reduce these repeat attendances, staff have undergone training in collaboration with Liverpool Veterans Association to help them to be able to recognise veterans and signpost them to various support agencies.”
Steve Warburton, chief executive of Aintree University Hospital, added: “Signing the Armed Forces Covenant today builds on all of the support Aintree has already given to patients who are veterans, and our staff who volunteer as reservists.
“Our ophthalmology team have been recognised nationally for their pioneering work with veterans who have lost their vision, while other services including our wheelchair and prosthetic limb centre have received excellent feedback.
“We are proud to support our staff reservists, who use the skills they have developed during their military training and overseas deployments to improve services back here at Aintree. For example, some of our developments in the regional trauma centre have been informed by lessons learned from our staff on deployment. Their time as reservists is helping our patients back here in Liverpool.”