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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > NHS staff support Armed Forces Day

NHS staff support Armed Forces Day

Posted on Thursday 28th June 2018

Gina Tiller & Robin Talbot signing the Armed Forces Covenant

Staff from the NHS will take part in the event in Carlisle City Centre on Saturday 30 June to commemorate Armed Forces Day, a national celebration of the UK’s Armed Forces – past, present and future.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant; a commitment to those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment. The covenant 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 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team have set up an Armed Forces Network for staff across both Trusts.  Kate North Head of Workforce Futures and Inclusion said, “We have set up the network to bring together staff from across a range of different professions who have previously served, or who are currently involved in reservist careers to show our Trust’s collective support and value for those within our workforce.   We are supporting staff to come to work in military uniform on 29th June, subject to it being appropriate to their clinical duties, in recognition of their military connections and to celebrate Armed Forces week. Any staff member interested in joining or would like more information please email

The NHS will have a stand at the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Carlisle City Centre on Saturday 30th June, please come along to say hello and show your support.  

John Thompson (current reservist career) Lead Specialist Practitioner, Infection Prevention and Control at the North Cumbria University Hospital NHS Trust said “I joined the Territorial Army in March 1983 initially as Royal Engineers, transferred to Royal Signals and then joined the Regular Army in 1989, with the Royal Engineers as Bomb Disposal. I have been deployed to multiple countries around the world including Kurdistan and the Falkland Islands. After leaving the regular army I joined the TA and have been to Iraq, Afghanistan working in a variety of roles including reconstruction of schools, field hospital and clinical training officer. In total I have completed 35 years as a regular and reservist.”

The Trusts are also linking in with NHS England as part of the Step into Health Programme. Step into Health connects employers in the NHS to people from the Armed Forces community, by offering an access route into employment and career development opportunities. The programme recognises the transferable skills and cultural values that Armed Forces personnel develop when serving and how they are compatible with those required within NHS roles. It is recognised that Forces personnel develop skills, training and experience during their service that are highly transferable to the workplace, such as teamwork, confidence, communication, leadership, decision making and self-discipline.   

Richard Lloyd, Business Manager at CPFT said “I left the army in 2012 and moved to Cumbria to set up a small family business. After four years I was missing being part of large team and didn’t feel I was making use of my past skills. I saw Step into Health advertised on the Officers association website and made some further enquiries and then did a two week work placement. This gave me the opportunity to experience the work of the NHS. The support and assistance was fantastic, attitude towards the military was great and I came away convinced that a career in the NHS was something I definitely wanted to pursue. In 2016 I applied for the post as a Business Manager and was offered the post two hours after my interview. The NHS offer the chance for a rewarding second career, valuing the work and commitment that ex-forces can bring. The chance for development, training, changing roles etc. is obvious and real. I am extremely happy with my choice of second career. I feel valued and respected and my family have benefitted from the stability. “

The Armed Forces Day programme will also include live music provided by the Border Concert Band and a Cadet Drill competition. The Mayor will also present a Citation of Appreciation to the Armed Forces at 3.30pm.