Yesterday we celebrated Reserves’ Day, an opportunity for us to recognise staff across the Trust who give their time to support the Reserve Forces.
As an Armed Forces Friendly employer and silver recognition award holder, the Trust was chosen as one of only two local organisations to be selected for a visit by representatives of the Royal Navy.
Brigadier Richard Spencer OBE ADC, Captain Robert Anderson and Commander Ian Berry MBE RD spent a couple of hours at the hospital and met with Chief Executive, Ken Bremner, Director of HR and OD, Kath Griffin and Consultant General Surgeon and Reservist, Peter Small.
The group then went into the hospital to speak to Army Reserves, Shlok Balupuri (Consultant General Surgeon) and Alexandra Cairns (Staff Nurse in ED). They were specifically interested in how the experience of being a reserve can enrich their working life and what support they are given by the Trust for training / deployment.
Finally, they went to the Staff Dining Room to speak to volunteers who were manning a Military Intelligence Battalion Recruitment stand.
Reserves’ Day celebrates all of those who make up the Reserve Forces. This is an opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution Reservists make to our Armed Forces. As well as recently signing a special covenant outlining how the Trust pledges to support the armed forces and their families within the hospital and the local community, we also support various events throughout the year, such as Armed Forces Day and Medical Challenge and have a dedicated intranet page and Armed Forces Champion, Kath Griffin, who is also the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.
Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have 15 Trust employees who are reserves within the armed forces, including the British Army and Royal Navy and there are up to 8,000 others employed within the NHS. The UK heavily relies on the contribution made by our reservists and the armed forces and we very much recognise the values that they bring to the Trust. We also employ a number of veterans and are looking at initiatives that will provide work placement opportunities and guaranteed interviews where they have skills that match a role.”