The Step into Health programme, led by NHS Employers, has won its first ever award at the prestigious British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, taking home Ex-Forces Initiative of the Year…

The awards honour the accomplishments of veterans who have made a successful and notable transition from military life into meaningful new employment, and the employers that have supported them. The ceremony took place on 8th May at the Hilton on Park Lane, London.

The Step into Health programme was established in 2014 by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the Royal Foundation and Walking With The Wounded.

NHS Employers now leads the programme on behalf of the Royal Foundation and the NHS. Since its inception, Step into Health has helped match more than 180 service leavers, veterans, their spouses and dependants with jobs in the health service.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “We are immensely proud to have received this award, particularly as it celebrates the contribution veterans and their families make to our health service.

“It’s great to see the NHS embrace the Step into Health programme and recognise the amazing pool of talent among the Armed Forces community, especially at a time when the health service is facing serious workforce supply challenges.

“We now have 80 NHS organisations pledged to Step into Health, and we look forward to seeing the programme expand across the UK in the future.”

There was further success for the NHS on the night, as Dee Appleton-Cairns, deputy director of people and organisational development at Countess of Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust, won Team Leader of the Year.