Working in the NHS and the armed forces has more in common than you may think.

A desire to help people is often a motivating factor when someone joins either the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force and values are nearly as important as skills and qualifications.

Both are a springboard for a rich, varied and life-long career, with numerous opportunities for development and growth.

As we celebrate Armed Forces Week and tomorrow’s Armed Forces Day (June 29), Oxford Health is proud to be working with Step into Health, a dedicated pathway for the armed forces community to access the many career opportunities available in the NHS.

Stuart Bell, chief executive of Oxford Health, said: “Armed forces colleagues are known for their strong service ethic; putting others before themselves, swift effective response to challenges, teamwork, discipline and commitment.

“The NHS shares these values and offers a natural home for service people keen to learn new skills and take on a career that contributes positively to national life.

“If you’re ready for your next adventure, we’re keen to hear from you and strongly encourage you to come and join us.”

Step into Health is a promise from the NHS that those who serve or have served in the armed forces will be offered access routes into employment and career development opportunities.

Our programme is open to service leavers and veterans, as well as their family members.

As part of the programme, we are working closely with the local forces  communities to provide career and development opportunities within our organisation.

Our efforts have been recognised by the Ministry of Defence, which last year upgraded our previous bronze award for its Employer Recognition Scheme to silver, in recognition of the work we are doing to support the armed forces communities. As part of our promise, we support armed forces personnel by:

  • offering additional paid leave of 10 days to reservists during their annual camp training
  • establishing strong links with local armed forces units
  • having an NHS reserves forces champion/veterans health champion
  • having an armed forces champion
  • We held an insight day in March during which service leavers and veterans had the opportunity to learn more about the programme within Oxford Health and from senior leaders and veterans who have already made the transition into the NHS.

If you would like to find out more information about the Step into Health programme and how we support the armed forces community please contact our armed forces champion, Di Woodward, by emailing diane.woodward@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk or calling 01865 902316.