Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been named as one of just a handful of NHS organisations across the country to receive a Gold award for its support for the armed forces.
BTH has received the Gold Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), given by the Ministry of Defence.
The ERS is given to organisations that would like to be more engaged with reservist employees and demonstrate a public commitment to supporting the armed forces.
There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold award holders must demonstrate their commitment by:
- Taking a positive stance towards all service personnel during recruitment
- Enable reservists to fulfil annual training and mobilisation commitments
- Support cadet instructors, veterans and military spouses and partners
- They must sign the Armed Forces Covenant and employ at least one member of the armed forces community.
BTH was awarded the Silver ERS in 2018, and has been steadily working towards the Gold standard ever since.
To do this the Trust has forged strong links with the local medical unit, 208 Field Hospital Reservist unit, which has resulted in a number of employees joining the forces as reserves.
BTH was also awarded Veteran Aware Hospital Accreditation in 2019, giving ex-forces patients reassurance and confidence that staff are aware of the need to provide a more sensitive approach. For patients this means priority care, and ex-forces staff who will understand forces terminology and a patients’ life experiences.
Tina Daniels, Equality & Diversity Lead & Armed Forces Champion at BTH, said: “The Trust is absolutely thrilled to be awarded the ERS Gold Award. We value the expertise and knowledge our Reservists and ex-Military staff bring to their teams, our workforce and to the wider community.
“The award recognises the support we provide to all members of the defence community and we are pleased that this work is acknowledged with the honour of this award.
“Reservists and Military Veteran staff prove time and time again that they are excellent problem-solvers, good communicators and are able to work under pressure. Their skills benefit Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by enhancing the skill set within their team, which in turn improves the services to our patients.”
This year there were 140 Gold Award winners in the UK, with nine awarded to NHS organisations.