The NHS is to offer more support to Armed Forces personnel with the similarities and links in both organisations to be explored, it has been revealed.
Ex-Armed Forces personnel like Graeme Armour (pictured) will become a more familiar sight in UK hospitals, as legislation comes into force next year requiring public sector organisations to offer more opportunities to military veterans.
“I think we have a lot of offer the NHS in terms of organisational skills and a commitment to get the job done,” says the programme director who joined the Royal Marine Commandos as a teenager and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan during his 35-year career.
“I see clear similarities between the two organisations. Both have large workforces, are committed to helping people and often work in high-pressure situations where people’s lives depend on them.”
The father of two would certainly come in handy if blizzards ever hit Northwick Park, being an Arctic warfare and survival specialist in his former profession.
The news comes after revelations that Armed forces personnel could drive ambulances and stand in for frontline hospital roles ahead of possible winter of strike action.
A Government spokesperson said: “We are working with the NHS on a range of options to manage disruption to health and care services during industrial action.
“Hospitals will do everything they can to ensure patients and the public are kept safe, however, planned appointments may need to be cancelled and emergency care prioritised to those in need of urgent care only.”
Graeme added: “We need to support our veterans, but also realise they have a lot to offer and are good team players with a range of skills. I had various roles during my time in the Royal Marines, including overseeing the training of more than 2,000 Afghan police officers in Helmand Province.”
The Veterans Covenant Programme also looks at how staff can better identify veterans using NHS services and help them access the range of charities and agencies available, The programme also encourages NHS employees to consider the possibility of becoming reservists in the Armed Forces.
“It’s great fun. There is a lot of camaraderie, and you learn a lot of about yourself.”