NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been awarded silver status under the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) for supporting the armed forces community.
By reaching this level, the CCG joins its colleagues at Tameside Council who were awarded silver in 2018 and gold last November.
ERS, which was launched in 2014, rewards employers who promote the objectives of the Armed Forces Covenant which has been signed not only by the council but also by all 37 GP practices in Tameside and Glossop. By doing so the surgeries have made a statement of their intention to ensure ex-military patients are made aware of the specialist health services available to them.
One of the CCG's most notable achievements, achieved in partnership with the council's covenant team, is the coding (inclusion) of service in medical records. This means a forces background and the issues it may generate, especially if a person has been in combat, is immediately apparent.
The CCG has also demonstrated flexibility towards training and mobilisation commitments for reservists and cadet force adult volunteers.
Cllr Ged Cooney, Tameside Council's armed forces champion, said: "When we signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, we made a declaration of support to all those people who are serving, or have served, our country by being members of the armed forces.
"As an authority, we are determined they should never suffer any disadvantage in comparison with civilians. The clinical commissioning group's success in winning ERS silver status is more proof that we are making good on that commitment.
Dr Asad Ali, co-chair of NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, added: "I'm very proud of the ERS silver award we have received from the Ministry of Defence and also of what we have done to qualify for it.
"Without doubt, it's very important that forces personnel are able to get the medical care and treatment they need. We are committed to providing them with a high quality health service."
Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence (People and Veterans), commented: "I am delighted so many companies are supporting our people, and that through this scheme we can give them the public recognition they deserve.
"The positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adapted towards the defence community is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation."
For more information visit www.gov.uk/mod/employer-recognition