A important agreement has been reached between the armed forces and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
The local health authority has signed a “covenant” with the army, navy and air force on future co-operation at a meeting in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.
At the signing. NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chairman Nick Morris said: “We were delighted to welcome Major Bob Stewart from B Company Dumfries Detachment, 6 Scots OC, and Regional Employer Engagement Director Mr Charlie Cook and to take receipt of the completed covenant.
“NHS Dumfries and Galloway is fully committed to working in support of the armed forces, and this represents an important step in formalising that relationship.
“Going forward, we intend to work towards achieving the initial Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award which recognises employers who have provided exceptional support to the armed forces community and defence by going above and beyond their covenant pledges.
“This scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for organisations which pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community.
“As an organisation which already employs a number of armed forces veterans as well as active reservists, we are determined to build on that relationship and go beyond the commitment already established with the covenant.”
The ERS is a three-tiered bronze, silver and gold award scheme which recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisations for their support.
Employers have previously won awards for initiatives such as employing veterans, supporting individuals transitioning out of the armed forces into a new career, and providing flexibility for reservists.
For the armed forces, Mr Cook commented: “Today’s signing is excellent news for serving and ex-forces personnel.”