Image of Ric Allhusen and Trish Spruce Associate Director of UK & International Recruitment Security Manager (LSMS) Co-Chair Armed Forces and Veterans Network and

Yeovil Hospital celebrates achieving the Silver Award from The Defence Employer Recognition (ERS) Scheme, which encourages organisations to support and advocate for colleagues from defence or armed forces backgrounds.

Yeovil Hospital has members of staff that have or are severing in the armed forces and as a holder of the Silver Award, it recognises the invaluable skills and contributions that our Armed Forces colleagues offer to a large organisation like the NHS.

To make sure the trust’s veterans have the support they need, dedicated support is in place to make the transition to civilian life easier for them and their families. As part of the arrangement, the trust offers flexible working patterns, further support for staff during mobilisation and demobilising, and a staff assistance programme that provides free advice in various fields including finance, legal and mental health.

Associate Director of UK and International Recruitment and People Services Trish Spruce said: “Individuals from the Armed Forces community have a wealth of amazing skills that are transferable for any environment, which is why we are fully committed to providing veterans and their families the support needed to transition into a life and a career they want.”

As part of the ongoing support for veteran members of staff, Yeovil Hospital has a nationally recognised Health and Wellbeing team that works to support colleagues throughout the trust, including providing interactive activities and care groups. In collaboration with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital has a vibrant staffled Armed Forces Network that offers a safe space to meet and join likeminded individuals with similar experiences.

Photo shows Director of Operations Stacy Barron-Fitzsimons and Consultant Sonographer Steve Savage

The team at Yeovil Hospital is incredibly proud to also be recognised as a place that does not just care for staff veterans but also patients. The trust is one of 104 NHS providers throughout the UK that has been accredited as a Veteran Aware Trust, giving the best care to veteran patients.

Members of staff have been given relevant training to be aware of veteran needs and commitments of the NHS, offering and providing ongoing support and signposting to additional help not just to patients but also to their families.

The trust has recently applied for the Gold Award with The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and is hoping it will be successful, demonstrating how valued veterans are to Yeovil Hospital.

Trish added: “We would be very proud and delighted to be awarded the Gold ERS status. Having already been recognised as a Veteran Aware organisation and a holder of the Silver ERS award, the Gold Award would be recognition of the significant work we have done as a Trust, since receiving these accolades.”

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