A nationwide programme to help military veterans, their spouses and dependants find work in a variety of roles within the NHS was officially launched by Prince William.
The Duke joined NHS Employers Chief Executive, Danny Mortimer, in central London to officially launch the scheme. The Duke’s charity, The Royal Foundation, is giving its full support to the scheme.
Step Into Health is led by NHS Employers, and supported by the Royal Foundation, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, NHS England, the Careers Transition Partnership and the charity Walking with the Wounded.
The programme was successfully piloted by five NHS organisations over the past two years and was developed by Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Walking with the Wounded. The pilot programme has so far helped personnel across all ranks and branches of the military, from combat infantry soldiers to a Royal Navy Commodore.
Following the success of the pilot, nearly 50 Health Trusts have joined the programme which asks NHS organisations to develop recruitment practices and career opportunities. The NHS Trusts will advertise all vacancies through the Career Transition Partnership, nominate a point of contact specifically for the Armed Forces and will review current recruitment practices, removing any barriers to recruiting members of the Armed Forces community.
Vacancies currently filled in the NHS include a myriad of clinical and non-clinical jobs, from ambulance staff to operating practitioners and porters to departmental directors. Just as impressive is the fact the scheme has spread across every type of NHS provider from acute medicine to community health, from the ambulance service to mental health.
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that His Royal Highness is such a huge supporter of this scheme and would like to thank him for taking the time to meet the people who have worked so hard on the project and who have benefited from this work.
“Step Into Health is recognition that the nation’s largest employer, the NHS, can benefit from the talent and dedication of Armed Forces personnel and their families.”
The Duke visited Evelina London Children’s Hospital where he met veterans working at the hospital before travelling to the national launch, where he gave a speech on the importance of the programme.
Speaking at the event, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, said:
“In many ways, the NHS has been the perfect partner in this endeavour. Many of the values the NHS espouses are well understood and widely practiced within the Armed Forces: close teamwork, commitment, compassion, respect, dignity and professionalism.
“Likewise the skills and experience that veterans can offer employers are highly sought after and valued within the NHS. By that I mean, for example, an ability to operate under pressure, courage in the face of adversity, leadership and management together with – above all – a strong and unwavering sense of public duty.”
For more on the scheme visit www.militarystepintohealth.nhs.uk