Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC) has affirmed its support to the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant. The Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
GHC was formed on 1 October 2019 following the merger of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. Both organisations were previously signatories to the Covenant, but at the first Board meeting of GHC the Trust reaffirmed its commitment by signing the Covenant as a new Trust.
Trust Chair Ingrid Barker, who signed on behalf of the Trust, said: “We chose our first Board meeting as GHC, which we held at the Friendship Café in the heart of Gloucester, to sign the Covenant and renew our commitment and support for the armed forces community.
“Gloucestershire and Herefordshire have a long military tradition and many Trust colleagues have previously served in the armed forces. We also treat many people and support families who have connections to the military, and it’s very important that we publicly demonstrate our support to those who are serving now and who have served in the past.
“The Covenant is an important way we can demonstrate that support, alongside the many practical ways in which we can work with and for the armed forces community.”
The Corporate Covenant commits the Trust to upholding the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:
- no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
- in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.
It also means the Trust will demonstrate its support by:
- promoting the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation;
- seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old;
- striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners;
- endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment;
- seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible;
- offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible;
- aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day; and
- ensuring quick and easy access to healthcare services, and in some cases ‘fast tracking’ treatment where symptoms are as a result of military service or related experience.
You can read more about the Armed Forces Covenant at https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk/