The ‘Step into Health‘ programme at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is one of the 2018 Silver Award recipients of the Ministry of Defence employer recognition scheme.

The scheme, which was launched in 2014, is designed to celebrate and reward UK employers who actively support the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, a national agreement to respect and treat fairly those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and their families.

There are three tiers of award that employers may earn by pledging, demonstrating or advocating their support of the Armed Forces: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Oxford Health has previously been recognised for our ‘Step into Health’ employment programme, which seeks to help veterans of the Armed Forces explore their transferable skills and identify possible training and career opportunities within the NHS.

This year, the trust has moved from a Bronze designation to Silver.

Praise from the government

Commenting on the announcement of the 2018 Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP said:

“I am delighted to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards.

“A Silver award recognises the fantastic efforts of employers throughout the UK who have both elevated their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant and provided actual benefit to the Armed Forces Community.

“The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick and their families. We’ve seen a record number of winners this year, which shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing tangible business benefit.”

Armed Forces programme hosts open day

The award announcement comes on the heels of an ‘Insight Day’ for the Step into Health programme on Thursday 24 July.

Veterans at the event learnt more about the programme and heard talks from senior leaders and veterans who have already made the transition into the NHS.

Oxford Health’s Chief Executive Stuart Bell also signed the Armed Forces Covenant at the event, emphasising the trust’s commitment to support all members of the Armed Forces and their families, both past and present.

Martyn Ward, Director of Strategy and Chief Information Officer at the trust said:

‘It was great to be able to welcome so many service leavers and veterans at the trust’s Insight Day and to see so much enthusiasm for potential careers in the NHS. Many had travelled great distances to attend the event to see and hear for themselves what the NHS can offer, as well as share their experiences with others who have already made this transition.

“As a trust we are also delighted to have been awarded a Silver Award by the Employer Recognition Scheme, an achievement that can be credited to our Step into Health Programme. I am looking forward to representing the trust at the award presentation ceremony on board HMS Victory on 5 September alongside Shaun Mclaughlin, who recently joined us after retiring from his role as a senior officer in the RAF.”

For more information on the Step into Health Programme, contact Di Woodward, Armed Forces Champion and Step into Health lead for the trust, or visit our careers events page.

Find out more about careers at Oxford Health.