His Royal Highness Prince William was in Lambeth yesterday to help launch the Step into Health programme at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The Step into Health programme helps ex-military servicemen and women and their spouse or partner by recognising their transferable skills and helping them to apply and obtain suitable jobs and work placements with the NHS.
Since the scheme’s inception in September 2015, NHS employers have worked closely with the Armed Forces Community to provide career and development opportunities in areas as wide-ranging as catering, maintenance, finance, management, communications, administration and clinical services.
During the visit, the Duke of Cambridge met with armed forces veterans who have been helped by the Step into Health programme and are now working in the NHS. He also met children being treated at the hospital as he was shown around by the veterans.
Prince William described the programme’s efforts as “incredible” ahead of plans for a national rollout which will help veterans from all over the country.
Speaking during his visit, Prince William said that: “We must recognise the immense benefits of these people we bring to the NHS at a time when concerns over the health service are never far from the headlines. We should rightly celebrate an incredible cohort of new staff that will enter the NHS with their well-deserved reputation for hard work, dedication and Service.”
The Step into Health scheme was set up in conjunction with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Walking with the Wounded. Prince William previously attended the launch of the programme at Basingstoke Hospital in October 2016, where he participated in a roundtable to agree on a national approach to improving opportunities.
Of his 2016 visit, Step into Health Regional Leader for London and the south-east, Danielle Fullwood, said: “Having Prince William endorse the programme really shows the impact and potential that the programme could have on the health and well-being of the Armed Forces community, as well as providing an excellent talent pool from which we can recruit.”