The NHS launch of a national recruitment drive for former members of the armed forces was held on Thursday 18th January, and special guest Prince William joined members of NHS staff to support the initiative.
Designed by the NHS in conjunction with The Royal Foundation and Walking with the Wounded, Step Into Health aims to ease ex-servicemen and women back into civilian life, by recognising their transferable skills and helping them to apply and obtain suitable jobs and work placements within the NHS.
The NHS has tested the scheme out in five areas over the past two years, securing many career and development opportunities in fields such as catering, finance, maintenance and clinical services. A commodore, lieutenant colonel and warrant officer are among those to have been placed.
Step Into Health aims to tap into the experience gained in the armed forces, to fill vacancies from £15,000 to £100,000 a year, for roles from porters to directors.
The Duke of Cambridge, who himself served in the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force between the years of 2006 and 2013, met with armed forces veterans who have been helped by the initiative. He described the programmes efforts as “incredible”.
“We must recognise the immense benefits of these people we bring to the NHS at a time when concerns over the health service are never far from the headlines. We should rightly celebrate an incredible cohort of new staff that will enter the NHS with their well-deserved reputation for hard work, dedication and Service,” said Prince William.
Danielle Fullwood, Step Into Health regional leader, said: “Having Prince William endorse the programme really shows the impact and potential that the programme could have on the health and well-being of the Armed Forces community, as well as providing an excellent talent pool from which we can recruit.”