Armed Forces Network

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton is one of many NHS organisations from across the UK signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and has received accreditation awarded by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) and has also been awarded Gold Employer Recognition Scheme Status. 

Armed Forces Covenant

We are committed to working together with the Armed Forces community to help serving members and veterans. The Trust has a very positive, long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Defence, and we currently have a number of current staff who are either reservists or veterans. 

In June 2021, the Trust welcomed members of the Armed Forces to the Trust to sign the 'Armed Forces Covenant'.

The Armed Forces Covenant is aimed at promoting fair treatment for the Armed Forces community, removing disadvantage and ensuring that they get the same access to services as the civilian community. The Covenant also sets out the relationship between the nation, the government and the Armed Forces it recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the Armed Forces and their families.

The two main principles are that:

  • the Armed Forces community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services in the area where they live.
  • special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.‚Äč

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme includes bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

As a Gold award holder, the Trust has undertaken the following commitments:

  • Signed the Armed Forces Covenant. Access Armed Forces Covenant website (opens in new window) >
  • Have an existing relationship with their National Account Manager/REED/appropriate defence representative.
  • Already be demonstrating support by holding a valid ERS Silver Award. Employers that do not hold a valid ERS Silver Award cannot progress to the Gold level.
  • Proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes. Where possible, they should be engaged with Career Transition Partnership (opens in new window) > (CTP) in the recruitment of service leavers and have registered for the Forces Families Jobs (opens in new window) > (FFJ) portal.
  • Actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must have an internally publicised and positive human resources policy on Reserves.
  • Be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results.
  • In the context of Reserves, the employer must have demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must provide at least 10 days’ additional leave for training, fully paid, to the Reservist employee.
  • Actively encourage a positive environment for Reservists by ensuring that positive policies in support of Reservists within the workforce are communicated to line managers


The Veteran Aware mark highlights NHS trusts, which have made a series of pledges around sharing and driving best practice in NHS care for people who currently serve or have served in the UK Armed Forces and their families.

Supporting our Veteran patients

Being identified as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will ensure you are able to access specific veterans’ health services, such as those for mental health, hearing loss, limb amputation and wheelchairs. Please ensure that you are also registered as a veteran with your GP.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care for service-related conditions; however, this is always subject to clinical need and does not mean that you will automatically be treated ahead of others who have a more urgent clinical need.

Please let a member of staff know if you, or your spouse/partner, have ever served in the UK Armed Forces so that we can best support your care needs.

Employing Veterans

Employed across all sites of the Trust, there are a number of staff members who are active members of the Armed Forces, Reservists, Forces Family Members, Adult Cadet Force Leaders or Armed Forces Veterans. The NHS and our Trust recognises the transferable skills and cultural values that the Armed Forces community develop during their time in the Armed Forces environment and how they are compatible with those required within NHS roles. 

UHDB has signed up to the 'Step into Health' national programme, designed to help all ex-Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their spouse/partner to join the NHS and we are a member of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) of which we proudly hold the highest achievable award (Gold). 

Guaranteed Interview Scheme - Veterans

As the first part of a range of recruitment and employment practices, the Trust will seek to introduce a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans. This report sets out the Scheme’s aims and criteria, recommending its introduction as a means of assisting Veterans overcome barriers to finding civilian employment.

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans will operate for all external recruitment. This scheme has no bearing on redeployment, redundancy selection or internal reorganisations.

UHDB is an equal opportunities employer and recognises that a diverse workforce, coming from all sections of the community, can improve services by offering differing skills, experiences, backgrounds and cultures. UHDB also recognises the Disability Confidence scheme.

UHDB is committed to support the armed forces community in the Staffordshire and Derbyshire localities, including all serving and former members, reservists and their families. The Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans stems from this commitment.

This Scheme has a number of benefits, including the following:

  • Veterans can bring valuable transferable skills and qualities into the organisation, such as:
    • Communication skills
    • Organisational skills and commitment
    • Problem solving and adaptability
    • Leadership and management skills
    • Health and safety / security awareness
    • Team working skills
  • The Scheme may provide the recruiting manager with a wider selection of candidates to appoint from, using the essential criteria listed on the person specification.
  •  It will assist veterans to overcome barriers in finding civilian employment.
  • It will help reduce the risk of veterans developing health and welfare problems as a result of long-term unemployment.
  • It will contribute to the achievements of the Trust, specifically in relation to developing an appropriately skilled workforce, and ensuring financial security and independence in later life.


Scheme Eligibility

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans is a commitment that UHDB has made to support the Armed Forces Community Covenant. This commitment is to guarantee an interview for any veterans that meet the essential criteria set out in the person specification. The scheme is not a guaranteed job for Veterans, as selection procedures will ensure the best candidate for the job is appointed, based on the objective criteria of the role profile.

The following applicants are eligible for the Guaranteed Interview Scheme:

  • applicants that are currently serving in the Armed Forces and are within 12 weeks of their discharge date; and
  • meet the essential criteria set out in the role profile

Or alternately:

  • applicants that meet the essential criteria set out in the role profile; and
  • the Armed Forces were their last long term substantive employer; and
  • no more than 5 years has elapsed since they left the Armed Forces.

NHS Employers "Step Into Health" Programme

Step into Health offers an access route into employment and other career development opportunities within the NHS to members of the Armed Forces community. 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.

If you are currently employed in the armed forces and interested in exploring future employment opportunities at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Veteran Support Organisations

There are many service charities and organisations available to assist Veterans. The Veterans’ Gateway is a first point of contact for veterans and their families for information, advice and support.

Telephone: 0808 802 1212
Text: 81212
Website: Access Veterans Gateway website (opens in new window) >

Local Support Services

Help a Squaddie

To help develop the capacity and skills of the socially and economically disadvantaged community of ex-military and their families within the Staffordshire and South Derbyshire area. Access Help a Squaddie website (opens in new window) >

Local Veterans Breakfasts Clubs

Help facilitate Veterans and serving Armed Forces personnel to meet face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment to enjoy breakfast and banter, to combat loneliness and allow veterans to 'return to the tribe'. Access Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs (opens in new window) >

General Support Services

Download list of Veteran Support Organisations - general support services [pdf] 121KB (opens in new window) >

Support for families

Download list of Veteran Support Organisations - support for families [pdf] 122KB (opens in new window) >

Reservists and Cadets

The Reserve forces play a crucial role in national security from countering security threats, peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts abroad to supporting communities at home.

Some of the benefits of joining the reserves are:

  • paid for your time and a tax-free bounty
  • special paid leave (see per individual department human resources policy)
  • pension
  • training and qualifications
  • sports and adventure training
  • overseas travel
  • armed forces railcard

For more information, please access GOV.UK website for Armed forces reserves quick guide (opens in new window) >

The Trust has a dedicated Trust Policy for Reserves and Cadet Forces Training and Mobilisation which supports members of the Reserve and Cadet Forces with a commitment to train regularly and / or a liability to be mobilised.

East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association

East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (East Midlands RFCA) helps to promote and support the Reserve Forces and Cadets across the region. The RFCA also facilitates the management of the Reserve and Cadet estate.

For more information, please access East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association website (opens in new window) >

Cadet Forces

For more information about our local Cadets, please visit the website below: