Healthwatch Essex is delighted to have received a bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

The ERS recognises commitment and support from UK employers for defence personnel. The scheme 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.

Healthwatch Essex actively supports the armed forces community in Essex and regularly works with veterans and military charities across the region, ensuring that their voices are heard in health and social care.

The award follows on from our report ‘What Matters to Veterans?‘ which highlighted many of the issues which service personnel experience when leaving the armed forces, and made recommendations about how to better support veterans settling back into civilian life.

The Healthwatch Essex Information and Guidance Team are regularly on hand to support armed forces personnel, both past and present, in accessing the health and social care support that they need.

To attain the bronze award, Healthwatch Essex were required to pledge to support the armed forces, including existing or prospective employees from the armed forces, sign the Armed Forces Covenant and promote being armed forces-friendly to other organisations and agencies.

Healthwatch Essex are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to continuing to work closely with the armed forces community in the future.