Focus falls on armed forces reservists

Colonel Niall MacDougall TD, Assistant Commander of the Grantham-based 102 Logistic Brigade and LPFT chairman Paul Devlin signing the Armed Forces Covenant. EMN-161129-141204001

Colonel Niall MacDougall TD, Assistant Commander of the Grantham-based 102 Logistic Brigade and LPFT chairman Paul Devlin signing the Armed Forces Covenant. EMN-161129-141204001

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An Armed Forces friendly NHS Trust is lending its full support to a national campaign promoting the benefits of employing volunteer reservists.

Sleaford-based Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust features prominently in this week’s NHS Employers Focus on Reservists Week, which looks at how supporting reservists can positively impact on NHS services.

Each day the campaign focusses on a new topic including management, leadership, recruitment, retention and partnership, to highlight the valuable skills and experiences reservists can bring to the NHS workforce.

LPFT takes the spotlight tomorrow (Wednesday November 30), when the awareness week focusses on why the Trust signed the recent Armed Forces Covenant, and the benefits it has brought to its recruitment processes.

Paula Jelly, LPFT’s Regional Veterans’ Lead, said that supporting volunteer reservists to progress in a career within the NHS can bring benefits to us all.

“Reservists can make an invaluable contribution to the NHS as many have undertaken a variety of clinical and leadership training during their time in the military,” she said.

“The unique training offered to them during this time allows them to develop excellent communication and teamwork skills all of which are transferrable to services across the Trust.

“Reservists also bring with them the experience of military life which can be shared with staff to raise awareness of the specific challenges that it can so often bring.”

LPFT Occupational Therapist Anthony Smith, is a reservist gunner with the RAF Regiment at RAF Waddington, in Lincoln.

He said that in addition to enhancing his healthcare role, his volunteer experiences also increase his own confidence within the workplace.

“The training I complete as a reservist includes work on a variety of weapons, fitness and most recently battlefield first aid,” he said.

“It gives me an insight into military life that’s valuable when liaising with patients who have served in the past.”

LPFT chairman, Paul Devlin said: “We value the contribution of reservists, veterans and their families to our workforce and we’re proud to provide care for active personnel.

“We must also ensure that we continue to offer the right support at the right time for those in the Armed Forces community, whenever they may need our services.”

For more information on Focus on Reservists Week visit the NHS Employers website.

Alternatively you can keep up with all the week’s activities by following @NHSE_Gemma on Twitter and using the hashtag #ForcesFocus.