Our pledge to support the Armed Forces and Veterans

The Armed Forces Covenant

An Enduring Covenant Between
The People of the United Kingdom
His Majesty’s Government
and –
All those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces of the Crown
And their Families

The first duty of Government is the defence of the realm. Our Armed Forces fulfil that responsibility on behalf of the Government, sacrificing some civilian freedoms, facing danger and, sometimes, suffering serious injury or death as a result of their duty. Families also play a vital role in supporting the operational effectiveness of our Armed Forces. In return, the whole nation has a moral obligation to the members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families. They deserve our respect and support, and fair treatment.

Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. Recognising those who have performed military duty unites the country and demonstrates the value of their contribution. This has no greater expression than in upholding this Covenant.

Section 1: Principles of the Armed Forces Covenant

1.1 We HCA Healthcare UK will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

  • no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.
Section 2: Demonstrating our Commitment 

1.2  We recognise the value that serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to our business and to our country. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • Promoting the Armed Forces: promoting the fact that we are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation, to our staff, customers, suppliers, contractors and wider public. 
  • Veterans: supporting the employment of veterans, recognising military skills and qualifications in our recruitment and selection process; working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to support the employment of Service leavers;
  • Service Spouses & Partners: supporting the employment of Service spouses and partners;  partnering with the Forces Families Jobs Forum (https://www.forcesfamiliesjobs.co.uk/); and providing flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment.
  • Reserves: supporting our employees who are members of the Reserve Forces; granting additional leave for annual Reserve Forces training; supporting any mobilisations and deployment; actively encouraging members of staff to become Reservists;
  • Cadet Organisations: supporting our employees who are volunteer leaders in military cadet organisations, granting additional leave to attend annual training camps and courses; supporting local military cadet units; recognising the benefits of employing cadets/ex-cadets within the workforce.
  • National Events: supporting Armed Forces Day, Reserves Day, the Poppy Appeal Day and Remembrance activities;
  • Awareness: provide and promote training, during induction, for our staff on the Armed Forces Community and our commitments;
  • Armed Forces Network: establish an internal network within our organisation, to enable staff members with an Armed Forces connection to meet and support one another and provide feedback to us as an organisation;
  • Armed Forces Champions: Appoint Champions within our organisation to act as a focal point for organising and promoting support for the Armed Forces Community;
  • Armed Forces Charities: supporting Armed Forces charities with fundraising and supporting staff who volunteer to assist;
  • Commercial Support: ensuring the Armed Forces Community have fair access to our services and are not put at a disadvantage by their service, for example as a result of their high mobility.

2.2  We will publicise these commitments through our literature, and on our website, setting out how we will seek to honour them and inviting feedback from the Service community, our staff and our customers on how we are doing. 

VCHA and Veterans Aware

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers, including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance trusts that have agreed to be exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces’ community.

The VCHA do this through a Veteran Aware accreditation model, which encourages providers to identify those patients with an armed forces background.

The VCHA contribute to the commitments made in the Armed Forces Covenant. This states that members of the Armed Forces Community, whether they currently work in the military or who have worked, as well as service families, should not be disadvantaged in the care they receive and that where possible, receive personalised care to improve patient outcomes.

Their original remit was to accredit all NHS trusts in England, but through the NHS Long Term Plan the accreditation has since expanded to Hospices and the Independent Care Sector with a similar scheme available for the accrediting of care homes. 

HCA Healthcare UK signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant on 1st March 2023.

HCA Healthcare UK has received the bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)

Armed Forces Covenant

"We would like to thank HCA Healthcare UK for your statement of intent to support defence personnel.
The ERS recognises commitment and support from UK employers for defence personnel.
The scheme comprises bronze, silver and gold awards for employers who support those who serve
or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families."
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