Ambulance trust shortlisted for award after introducing measures to support military staff

Community champion Terry Hicks

Community champion Terry Hicks - Credit: Archant

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has been shortlisted for two prestigious national awards.

EEAST has been named as a finalist in the Reservist Support Initiative category of the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2019 and as a supporting partner in the Health and Local Government Partnership Award category.

This shortlisting comes after the trust introduced a range of initiatives to help reservist staff balance their military and civilian commitments, in turn, helping them develop transferable skills which bring benefits to patients.

They include providing reservists with an additional two weeks of paid leave each year so that they can complete their military training, as well as putting support in place to safeguard their wellbeing and emotional health.

In addition, EEAST has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and last year became only the third ambulance trust to receive a prestigious gold award from the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for the outstanding support it shows to armed forces veterans, reservists and their dependents.

Terry Hicks, armed forces champion with the trust, said: "EEAST is a proud supporter of the armed forces. We recognise the huge benefits which employing people with military experience brings and work hard to recruit, retain and develop our reservist staff. As such, we are delighted that we have been shortlisted for this award.

"Employing reservists brings huge benefits to our Trust and the patients we serve. This dedicated group benefit from a wealth of knowledge, along with many valuable transferable skills such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork and performing well under pressure.

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"Reservists working in medical roles in the armed forces also develop specialist skills which they can use in their civilian jobs. Employing these staff therefore brings added value to our Trust as it means our patients directly benefit from these abilities without any additional cost to the NHS."

HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan said: "We would like to congratulate EEAST on being nominated in the category of Reservist Support Initiative ahead of this year's 2019 HSJ awards. The entrants this year have been of incredible calibre, and each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare."