Our support for the Armed Forces Community
Have you or has anyone in your immediate family previously served in the Armed Forces?
If so, we have support in place to help you and to make sure that our hosptial is a welcoming environment for all individuals with Armed Forces connections.
To provide the best experience for our patients and staff with Amred Forces connections, please let a member of your care team know about your connection and ask them to refer you to our Armed Forces Welfare Officer. This will help us to better serve and support you during your time at our hospital.
Armed Forces Welfare Officer
Michelle Reynolds became the Trust's Armed Forces Welfare Officer in 2022. She works full-time at the hospital for the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS). Since 1943, DMWS has worked to support members of the Armed Forces by collaborating with both the Ministry of Defence and NHS Trusts. The hospital has strong ties with charities that support the Armed Forces. Since Michelle joined the team, this has been enhanced by connecting patients and staff with organisations such as the Bridge for Heroes, Walking with the Wounded, West Norfolk Carers, and national charities such as the RAF Benevolent Fund, the British Red Cross, and St John's Ambulance. Michelle pays visits to veterans, spouses, children, and serving personnel in the Trust to provide emotional and practical support tailored to their specific needs.
Michelle has also offered training to a wide variety of our teams to raise awareness of the service offered and support available.
Michelle has referred patients and staff for a variety of issues, including mental health, social isolation and loneliness, finances, housing and homelessness, wellbeing, healthy living activities, employment and training, families and relationships. Michelle will meet with the patient or staff memeber who is being referred to determine their needs.
Supporting the Armed Forces community
Brian - Macmillan
Michelle met Brian and has been supporting him for a number of months following a referral from a volunteer. Brian has a terminal diagnosis and visits weekly for treatment. Michelle has referred Brian and his wife for support from Bridge for Heroes, Royal Naval Association, West Norfolk Carers, and the Company of Makers. Michelle meets Brian weekly to offer emotional support and a listening ear.
Barry and Carol - Accident and Emergency
Barry was brought to the hospital by ambulance following a fall. He had previously been admitted for a broken leg. When he arrived, Barry requested the presence of Michelle to provide support for both him and his partner Carol. Both Barry and Carol have a background in the Armed Forces. Carol experiences mental health issues and needed support and someone to listen to her. They were both referred to the Bridge for Heroes, an organisation that offers weekly community support, financial assistance, and mental health care.
Robert - West Raynham Ward
After experiencing a stroke, Robert was admitted to West Raynham Ward. He was agitated and, due to his past service in the Royal Air Force (RAF), the occupational therapists (OTs) referred him to Michelle. Robert expressed concern about his wife and the potential danger of her trying to mow the lawn. Michelle was able to connect Robert with the RAF Benevolent Fund, who provided financial assistance to pay for lawn care for a year.
Michael and Pauline
Michael, a veteran, and his wife Pauline were both admitted to the hospital and placed on different wards. The hospital staff arranged for regular visits between the couple every day. Eventually, Michael was discharged and had no way to visit Pauline regularly. Michelle started visiting Pauline daily and called Michael to update him on her visits until she sadly passed away.
Our commitment and accreditations
We have made a commitment to support members of the Armed Forces and their families through the Armed Forces Covenant. In April 2021, QEH was recognised for providing excellent support to the Armed Forces community, both as patients and staff, and was awarded Veteran Aware status. Our hospital is also accredited Gold by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, which shows our support for employees who are part of the Armed Forces community.
We are part of the Step Into Health program, which helps members of the Armed Forces community find jobs at our hospital. This includes work experience and a guaranteed interview if they meet all the requirements for the role. We also offer support to our staff members who are part of the Armed Forces community, including access to our Armed Forces Welfare Officer and Armed Forces Champions. We record Armed Forces connections on our electronic staff record (ESR) and hold monthly meetings for our Armed Forces Staff Network. During and around Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Sunday, staff members have the chance to be involved in planning events and activities.Page last reviewed: 30 December 2022