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NHS Fife has been recognised for its commitment to and support of the armed forces community.

The health board has been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award at a ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers.

The ERS encourages employers to support defence efforts and inspire others to do the same. NHS Fife’s Silver Award recognises its flexibility around the training commitments of reservists and the support it provides to instructors, veterans and military spouses and partners. Reservists are a reserve military force, who can be called upon to support defence efforts, but have careers outside the armed forces.

NHS Fife is also signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, which formally aligns its organisational values with the armed forces community.

The health board has a rich history supporting the armed forces, creating roles for Armed Forces and Veterans Champions and, in 2010, Clinical Support Worker, Chrystie MacLeod became the first healthcare assistant to be deployed to Afghanistan, providing field hospital based medical and surgical support to the armed forces.

NHS Fife Chief Executive, Paul Hawkins, said: “It is a real privilege to receive an ERS Silver Award. NHS Fife is a proud supporter of our armed forces and we have embedded that support in our human resource policies.

“We are delighted to support our reservist members of staff and their families so that their unique skills can be channelled into keeping our country safe. We look forward to supporting many more of our staff to follow in Corporal MacLeod’s pioneering footsteps.”