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Trust shortlisted in regional awards for support of Armed Forces Community

Armed Forces uniform with a British flag on.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is proud to share we have been shortlisted in three categories in the Boots and Beret Awards, for our dedication to support our Armed Forces Community.

The Trust has been shortlisted in the Employer Forces Hero Award and Harjit Bailey, who has been our Armed Forces Community Network Co-Chair over the last 2 years, has been shortlisted in the Employee Forces Hero Award. The Veteran Care Through Custody (VCTC) project has been shortlisted in the Community Veterans category.

As a Trust, we are holders of the Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award and are a Veterans Aware organisation, which makes us very proud. However, it is the work that we have undertaken supporting our colleagues and patients that we are most proud of.

Our thriving Armed Forces Community Network (AFCN) has over 100 members. This AFCN meets regularly and works to support each other, share knowledge and make improvements for colleagues and patients alike.

Jennifer Guiver, Executive Director of People and Culture said:

“We are very proud that the Armed Forces Community is firmly embedded within our Trustwide equality agenda, and it is inspiring to see how this community is thriving thanks to the fantastic work that has gone in to supporting them in so many areas. 

“We’re delighted to be shortlisted in these awards and we’re really proud of Harjit and all members of the network involved in this important work. The Veteran Care Through Custody project team do an outstanding job supporting veterans, and all those involved really deserve to be shortlisted. Wishing them the best of luck for the ceremony.”

We are committed to offering our AFC employment opportunities, and when applying for jobs with the Trust we will ensure that they receive an interview if they meet the essential criteria. Furthermore, through we are offering veterans 1-1 help with their applications and how to navigate the complexities of the NHS. 

As an NHS organisation we support patients from the AFC and we believe that by sharing the experiences of our AFC colleagues and educating our non AFC colleagues we will be able to support those patients better.

We are committed to supporting our veteran patients as best we can, and to ensure our colleagues understand and support our veteran patients, we have created a veteran support kit. This has key information, details of support organisations and it also identifies the 14 trained service champions across the Trust who have further knowledge.

Harjit Bailey was shortlisted in the Employee Forces Hero Award for the incredible influence she has had within our organisation on the AFC. She has personally driven the agenda forward over the last 2 years and ensured that the AFC is focused on at Board, colleague and patient levels alike.

Harjit established our Armed Forces Community Network (AFCN) for colleagues all across the 150+ sites of our organisation to come together as a community to share, learn and improve things for those colleagues and patients within the AFC.

Through Harjit, the network provides regular newsletters and information packs for members, and holds both Breakfast Clubs and Family Coffee Chats led by Network members. She has also been instrumental in organising events for our AFC such as the Military March, Armed Forces Day and Remembrance events, holding flag raising and social events at different locations across the Trust.

Of huge significance, Harjit has used her influence with our clinical teams to ensure that our AF patients are now identified through their records. This then helps us to identify further support that is available for veterans. 

Harjit has been committed to helping applicants from the AFC with their job hunt at the Trust, and supported them and the teams they have applied to with the different ‘language’ between the NHS and Armed Forces.

She has made great connections with other organisations linked to the AF both locally and nationally. As a proud wife of a veteran, her passion and enthusiasm for the work for the AFC is second to none.

Veteran Care Through Custody is an exceptional Nottinghamshire collaboration between the Newark-based veterans’ charity Care after Combat and the Offender Health team at Nottinghamshire Healthcare. With a focus on delivering life-changing and life-saving support to ex-Armed Forces personnel in the justice system, VCTC has, since forming in 2017, helped 657 veterans get their lives back on track. A combination of veteran specific clinical interventions from the Trust together with the wrap-around support of staff and volunteers from Care after Combat has seen incredible results in terms of health and wellbeing outcomes for some of our nation’s most vulnerable veterans. 

Veterans in the justice system frequently have complex and multiple physical and mental health needs, often attributable to their service in defending the nation. Working together with prison healthcare teams and other prison and probation staff, VCTC helps each veteran address their individual needs, and prepare as fully as possible for their release from prison and reintegration back into the community. This includes thinking about aspects such as family, accommodation, finance, employment, and ongoing support needs, making critical preparations in good time before leaving custody. Care after Combat mentors stay with veterans on their journey as they transition through the gates back into ‘civvy life’; a handrail should the veteran need it. 

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 22 August.



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