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Paget secures Gold Award

20 July 2023

James Paget Chief Executive Jo Segasby, Armed Forces Advocate Chris Blyth and Deputy Chief Nurse Jacky Copping stand in our new safe garden holding gold award signs. These have Employer Recognition Scheme and 'Gold Award 2023' in gold boxes on a white background, and the Armed Forces Covenant logo which is a lion standing on its hind legs holding a Union Jack flag at a diagonal angle and a crown symbol next to the flag. The three stand behind our black metal 'Lest we forget' bench seat and in front of the cream coloured wall, which is painted with a Lest we forget design of red poppies and black silhouettes of two World War One soldiers. 

The James Paget has been awarded a prestigious Gold Award in the 2023 Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme – one of just 11 employers in East Anglia to win a Gold Award.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) 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 Covenant is a promise that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Since 2017 the Trust has held Silver Award status and this was renewed in 2022, however we have now achieved Gold standard after a focus on improving services offered to armed forces personnel and veterans, including the appointment of an Armed Forces Advocate (AFA), who has developed a range of initiatives to provide support.

Chris Blyth was appointed as AFA in May 2022 and since then has arranged coffee morning information sessions, established links with veteran organisations and helped veterans with everything from financial support to housing.

Chris said; “As an employer, the James Paget team recognise the values and skills service personnel bring to the NHS and we work to support both staff and patients who are veterans.  This award is recognition of the work being done and we’re pleased to have achieved the Gold Award, which highlights the ongoing steps we’re taking to ensure the hospital is a welcoming place for those who have served in all branches of our Armed Services.”

The team will officially receive their Gold Award at a ceremony in London at the end of September.