HCT recognised as an Armed Forces-friendly organisation

Posted: November 24 2021

HCT recognised as an Armed Forces-friendly organisation

HCT has signed agreements which recognises the value serving personnel, veterans and military families bring to our workforce. This has resulted in HCT being awarded the Bronze Award by committing to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and Step Into Health Pledge. HCT will endeavour to uphold the key principles of the Covenant, which say that no member of the Armed Forces Community (staff member or patient) should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services, compared to any other citizen. In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate.

We will also:

  • Promote the fact that we are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation
  • Support the employment of veterans, recognising military skills and qualifications in our recruitment and selection process
  • Support the employment of Service spouses and partners
  • Provide flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners, support staff who are members of the Reserve Forces and volunteer leaders in military cadet organisations.
  • Support national events such as Armed Forces Day, Reserves Day, the Poppy Appeal Day and Remembrance activities
  • Support Armed Forces charities with fundraising (supporting staff who volunteer to assist)

It is estimated that we have approximately 28,000 veterans across Hertfordshire and West Essex. That equates to around 700 on average per GP-led Primary Care Network (PCN) or around 200 per practice with approximately 3,200 classified as severely frail who require well-co-ordinated care management.

Steps are being taken nationally, regionally and locally to ensure all known veterans, serving members and their families have the appropriate flag on their NHS medical notes. This will ensure that they are able to access dedicated services for those who have served in the UK armed forces. In addition our patients should not face disadvantage from accessing appropriate health services, particularly if they are on a waiting list for medical treatment.

As a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, HCT will also become active in the Hertfordshire Heroes and members of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board (HAFCB) which aims to ensure this promise is delivered locally here in Hertfordshire. We are also members of the Health Subgroup of the HAFCB which aims to identify issues for veterans accessing healthcare services in Hertfordshire and recommend how to jointly develop local solutions.

Our ambition is to quickly progress to the Silver and then Gold award status, so joining local partner organisations such as Hertfordshire County Council and East and North Herts NHS Trust who have already gained the Gold award.

It is hoped that this Covenant will support our staff being the best they can be at work, and at home. It will also make HCT an even greater place to work, with a caring approach to our armed forces community.

If you are a journalist or media representative requiring further information contact our communications team on (01707) 388148 or via communications@hct.nhs.uk