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Armed Forces Covenant

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

Mairead McCormick and Brett Seath sign the covenant

It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

The signing of our Armed Forces Covenant shows our commitment to supporting our armed forces community as an employer to reservists, those who have served and/or partners and as a provider of community health care.

In December 2022, we signed the Armed Forces Covenant which was witnessed by representatives of the Royal British Legion.

Our pledges

The pledges which underpin our covenant are:

  • achieving veteran accreditation through the Veterans’ Covenant Healthcare Alliance
  • becoming an armed forces-friendly organisation working with Step into Health to provide a dedicated pathway into a career with us
  • looking after our workforce with support tools, packages and mentoring to help our armed forces colleagues develop and help our armed forces community apply for vacancies with us
  • working with other NHS organisations to share best practice and make efficient use of resources
  • providing access to information and support for colleagues and patients in our armed forces community, including signposting to dedicated support available in Kent and Medway
  • supporting our armed forces community by promoting and attending national and regional events
  • developing relationships with our local armed forces organisations and charities
  • improving the patient experience by working together with patients from our armed forces community to listen, learn and act.

Armed Forces Covenant employer recognition scheme

Supporting the armed forces as an employer

Step into Health offers an access route into employment and other career development opportunities within the NHS to members of the armed forces community. NHS Employers supports organisations in adopting the programme, making sure Step into Health is embedded into recruitment strategies and workforce supply routes.

The programme recognises the transferable skills and cultural values that armed forces personnel have developed, and how these skills and values are compatible with working in the NHS.

Get involved

If you have used any of our services and have served as a member of the armed forces or are part of the armed forces community, you can get involved in helping us to improve the patient experience. Help us to shape the future of community care. Contact to find out more.

Health services

Members of the armed forces community can get support from Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.

There is also a range of support through the Armed Forces Network website.

The Armed Forces Network for Kent and Medway is hosted by Sussex Integrated Care System.