NHS Orkney Gold Award revalidated

March 21, 2024
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ERS Gold revalidation for NHS Orkney.

NHS Orkney has been presented with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award revalidation.

HRFCA Regional Employer Engagement Director Roy McLellan travelled to Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall on 7 March to present the 2023 Award to NHS Orkney Chief Executive Laura Skaife-Knight.

Picture (above) shows Roy and Laura holding the Gold Award with (from left) NHS Orkney staff and Armed Forces Veterans: Jill Huckvale (ex-Royal Navy), Ali Sabiston (ex-Army), Gordon Wark (ex-Army), Tony Miller (ex-Army), and Murray Stead (ex-Army).

NHS Orkney signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016 and is one of 11,500+ UK organisations to have pledged support to the Armed Forces community through the scheme. It received the ERS Gold Award in 2017.

Laura Skaife-Knight said: “I’m so proud of everyone at NHS Orkney after we received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award revalidation in recognition of our commitment to the Armed Forces. I had the pleasure of spending time with some of our Veterans at the presentation and hearing about our great work with our Armed Forces community.

“This is a brilliant achievement.”

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support Defence and inspire others to do the same. The Scheme encompasses 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.

The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS boards and trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

NHS Orkney's ERS Gold Award
NHS Orkney’s ERS Gold Award.

Delivered by Defence Relationship Management, the ERS now has a total of 834 Gold holders. Organisations must reapply every five years to retain their Gold status.

To receive Gold from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for Reservists, Veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) and the spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging other organisations to sign the Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Find out more about NHS Orkney.

ERS Gold and NHS Orkney logos