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Supporting our armed forces

Health Education England and our teams are working closely with key stakeholders, including the Department of Health, the Ministry of Defence, NHS England, NHS Employers and others to support the aims and objectives of the Future Reserves 2020 White Paper.


Not only do reservists make a vital contribution to national defence, they also develop skills including team working and leadership capabilities, which are of direct benefit to the NHS. NHS organisations have a commitment to support the principles outlined by the Armed Forces Covenant and, following the White Paper, ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued’ published in 2013, building on the existing relationships between the NHS and the MoD has been of key importance and remains a Ministerial priority.

We are working with our partners to promote commitment to a ‘covenant’ that supports reservists to have time off for training and any deployment.

Update on our work

We have asked NHS Employers to develop an awareness raising information package on the many benefits reservists bring to NHS organisations and the patients they care for. Once completed, this package will be shared to NHS Managers through our local teams.

Work is also being undertaken to support veterans and includes:

  • reviewing and updating the current veteran’s e-learning package for GPs
  • looking at what skills health professionals need to recognise, and raise awareness of, veterans’ health needs across primary, secondary and community care settings, and how best to deliver opportunities to develop these.

HEE have also made available funding for local initiatives such as a Veteran Employment Initiative offering information, advice and guidance to military leavers who wish to explore a second career in the NHS.

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