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West Midlands Ambulance Service initiative shortlisted for award

By Rory Smith | Health | Published:

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been nominated for a national award for its work supporting veterans and serving military personnel.

Former RAF intelligence officer Chris Booker is a student paramedic with WMAS

WMAS has made it through to the final of the 2019 Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards for its Two Uniforms, One Job scheme, which supports employees who currently serve or have served in the military.

Having been nominated in the Reservist Support Initiative category, the judging panel recognised the positive impact the programme has had on patients and staff experiences within the health sector.

Currently, more than three per cent of the ambulance service's workforce have previously served in the military, be that navy, airforce or army, and the trust said it actively encourages staff members to continue their military career as well as their work with the ambulance service.

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Speaking about the progression from the military to the ambulance service, former RAF intelligence officer Chris Booker said: “One of the things I missed after coming out of the military was the camaraderie, but the ambulance service has given me that and I’d recommend any of my former colleagues to follow suit.

"The skills you learn in the military are an excellent fit with the ambulance service."

Maria Watson, HR manager at the service, said: "Candidates from the military and reserve forces come with structure and purpose and a definite sense of belonging.

"Many of their skills are extremely transferable which means many find it an easy transition.

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“We believe that WMAS offers a long term career option as they come back into civilian life. Equally, the skills they gain as a reservist has great benefit for the patients they treat and for their work with the trust in general.

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“We firmly believe that supporting our reservists has a positive effect on their jobs in the ambulance service and equally the skills and experience gained within the NHS benefits their military careers."

Kim Nurse, director of workforce and military champion at WMAS, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted as this recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 12 months implementing Two Uniforms, One Job."

HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan said: “We would like to congratulate WMAS on being nominated in the category of Reservist Support Initiative, recognising their outstanding contribution ahead of this year’s 2019 HSJ awards. Each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on November 6.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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