NHS trust achieves national gold award for supporting Armed Forces

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in recognition of its ongoing commitment to the armed forces community.

The gold award is the highest badge of honour an employer can receive in the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

The scheme was set up to recognise organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Armed Forces 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.

South Tees, which runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and a range of community services across Middlesbrough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Redcar and Cleveland, was praised for being a ‘forces-friendly’ trust.

This included demonstrating exemplar support to those serving in the forces, veterans and their families- such as implementing supportive HR policies and offering flexible working.

Sue Page CBE, chief executive at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of our staff. Achieving the Gold Award accreditation is a testament to their hard work and dedication.

“As a trust we are committed to supporting our armed forces colleagues, and their families, who bring valuable stills, knowledge and experience to our workforce.

“Our connection with the armed forces runs deep and we are incredibly fortunate to count our military colleagues in our South Tees family as one of the country’s joint hospital groups.

“Thank you to everyone who has worked helped us reach this great achievement.”

In addition to the Gold Award, in August 2022 the trust was formally reaccredited Veteran Aware status by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) for providing the best standards of care for the armed forces community.