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Plans to expand the army of NHS reservists

Plans were discussed to expand the number of staff who train as reservists for the armed forces, during a summit delivered by the NHS Employers organisation, NHS England and Health Education England.

Both the government and NHS put forward their views on this subject with defence minister, Anna Sourby, claiming that she was delighted the summit has proved ‘useful in exploring future opportunities’ for NHS staff to join the Reserves.

Currently, over 2,000 NHS staff are registered reservist and organisations committed to support last year’s objectives which stated that by 2020, volunteer reservists in the UK will need to make up around 29% of the nation’s defence capacity.

“The NHS has long played an invaluable role providing Reservists to our Armed Forces and we are committed to utilising the skills that every healthcare professional brings,” says Sourby.

During the Reservist Summit in Westminster, the benefits to healthcare, individuals and national defence were highlighted.

It was noted that healthcare staff who chose to become reservists have fitness checks and receive world-class training that significantly improves their capability in either workplace.

“We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made and are now committed to take things forward with the Ministry of Defence and organisations represented,” says Sue Covill, director of employment services at the NHS Employers organization.

“Reservists are highly committed individuals who bring value and a wealth of skills to the NHS including decision-making, leadership, team building and the ability to work under the utmost pressure. It is lifesaving training which has huge benefit to patients.”