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Sir Andrew Morris shakes hands with Lt Col Mike RyanFrimley Health has reinforced its commitment to supporting British military personnel across its community by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

The trust made the pledge to enshrine the covenant in its staff and patient policies, services and projects to ensure no current or former personnel are disadvantaged by serving their country.

In 1996, Frimley Park became the first NHS hospital in the country to host a military medical unit following the closure of the Cambridge Military Hospital in nearby Aldershot.

Lt Col Mike Ryan, commanding officer for the unit, called Defence Medical Group South East (DMGSE), co-signed the covenant with Frimley Health chief executive Sir Andrew Morris and trust director of nursing Duncan Burton recently.

Along with Frimley Park, near Camberley, Frimley Health runs Wexham Park Hospital, Slough and Heatherwood in Ascot.

Aldershot Garrison, dubbed the Home of the British Army, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the national Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park and a number of military units in Berkshire all fall within its catchment.

Sir Andrew said this meant that the trust had a long and proud association with the military, with many staff and patients from service families.

"It was a fantastic privilege to be here when the military unit came to Frimley Park and I am sure having that collaboration between us has benefitted our patients and staff enormously," he said.

Lt Col Ryan said the signing of the covenant would help to extend the special relationship between the trust and the military for many years to come.

Frimley Health became the 2,001st organisation in the country to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

It will ensure the trust promotes its forces-friendly credentials and supports military personnel and families in their treatment. It will also ensure support for veterans and reservists employed by the trust.

Frimley Health has since been recognised as a Silver Award status employer for veterans, cadet volunteers and reservists. This includes supporting families and spouses of personnel and encouraging employment of former servicemen and women.