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Reserve Forces: Health Services

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 10th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are encouraging the retention and motivation of Armed Forces reserve medical professionals.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) recognises the pivotal contribution that Reserve medical professionals make to the Defence Medical Services (DMS) and we are doing a number of things to ensure their recruitment, retention and motivation.

It is estimated that over 50 per cent of DMS Reserves specialists are recruited by their peers. A financial incentive is now available to encourage every DMS Reservist to be a recruiter and for them to support their peers through to the completion of Phase 1 training. A 'Golden Hello' payment is also being proposed for Reserve Medical Officers, Dental Officers and nurses/Allied Healthcare Professionals, the value and eligibility criteria of which is currently being considered by the single Services.

Concerning retention, the MOD is determined to ensure that Reserve medical professionals feel valued and have the opportunity to take full advantage of the offer to them. Engagement with employers is critical to retention and our dialogue with several organisations has led to standardised HR policies across the country on the employment and use of Reserves. This is reflected in the fact that 36 NHS Trusts have received the MOD's Employers Recognition Award.

The MOD is able to monitor the morale and motivation of medical Reserves through the annual DMS Continuous Attitude Survey. This enables action plans and initiatives to be explored through the single Services and heads of cadre.

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