At the December 2022 Board meeting on Wednesday 07 December, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) demonstrated its support for the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
NCH&C CEO Stephen Collman signed the covenant with Lieutenant Colonel David Haggar, Commanding Officer 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
It acknowledges that veterans and serving personnel should have the same access to services as the civilian community and should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.
NCH&C made the pledge to enshrine the covenant in its staff and patient policies, services and projects to ensure no current or former personnel are disadvantaged by serving their country.
Lieutenant Colonel Haggar said: “It is an absolute delight to be the military co-signatory to the Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust Armed Forces Covenant Pledge. This pledge recognises those who have performed military duties, either veterans, Regular or Reserve service personnel and is a tangible act that demonstrates the value of their contribution.
“I would like to thank the Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust for this commitment to the military community.”
Andy Sumpner, Resuscitation Officer and Chair of NCH&C Veteran Aware Group served as a combat paramedic with the Royal Army Medical Corps, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. Present at the event, Andy reflected on the significance of the signing:
“I served as a combat paramedic with the Royal Army Medical Corps achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. During my 12 years I served in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Cyprus and the Arabian Gulf.
“The MOD gave me some of the happiest moments and memories of my life but not without a cost to both my physical and mental health. I have a true understanding of the issues the armed forces community can have when it's time to go back to civvy street and a fundamental passion to do what I can to ensure that this transition is both fair and accessible to all. That's why I am honoured to Chair the Veteran Aware Group at NCH&C.
“Our signing of the Armed Forces Covenant is a real commitment, and the first step to gaining full national Veteran Aware accreditation and membership of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance.”