On Monday 8th November we welcomed seven NHS organisations from the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System (ICS) to sign the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) at a virtual signing. This is the first ICS to sign up to the Covenant within the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association’s (RFCA) region.
The Black Country and West Birmingham ICS comprises 15 local health and care organisations who are jointly responsible for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health and care outcomes of 1.5 million people in the Black Country and West Birmingham.
The organisations who signed the Armed Forces Covenant demonstrating their commitment to, and advocacy of, the Covenant were:
- Black Country & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group
- Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
- Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.
Both the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust took this opportunity to re-sign their AFC and renew their commitment.
We also welcomed to the virtual event Colonel J C Bell, Commanding Officer of 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital, a unit of the Royal Army Medical Corps within the Army Reserve. He was pleased to support the event and looks forward to engaging with the NHS partners as they work through their AFC commitments.
The West Midland RFCA’s Engagement Team worked alongside the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, who led on the organisation of this event as Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award holders.
Jonathan Fellows, Chair Designate of the Black Country Integrated Care Board, said, “We’re proud that seven of our organisations signed the Armed Forces Covenant this week, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to honour and support the Armed Forces community as an ICS.
“We recognise the value that serving personnel, veterans and military families contribute to our organisations and to our country, and our goal is to provide support as an employer as well as ensuring members of the Armed Forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care.
“As an ICS, we will uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and continue to be Armed Forces friendly, to all our staff, patients, suppliers, contractors and the wider community.”
Cat Suckling, Regional Employer Engagement Director at West Midland RFCA added, “This is a unique event for the West Midlands and the co-operation of senior executives from seven NHS organisations coming together to publicly pledge their support for the Armed Forces community is a powerful statement. I look forward to working with all of the organisations to support and advocate for the Armed Forces community both as employees of the organisations and within the community.”
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The Black Country and West Birmingham ICS and its members have all committed pledges to demonstrate their support to the Armed Forces community, and to the principles of Covenant.
Find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant and how your organisation can help to support the wider forces community.
View a list of organisations who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.