From military service to health service


Posted on Friday 15 April 2016
Simon Diggins

Simon Diggins

A former Colonel in the British Army is putting his best foot forward to find a new career by doing work experience at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Simon Diggins is one of 100 ex-military servicemen and women who have been helped to apply for jobs and get work placements in the NHS thanks to the Step into Health scheme.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one of 10 NHS trusts in England taking part in the scheme.
 
During his five-week work placement at Guy’s and St Thomas’, Simon worked on a project to improve the way patients with complex health conditions move through our hospitals and get home, so they get the best care in the right place for them.
 
Simon, whose 34-year career in the Army ended in August 2014 after tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, says: “The Army changed my life in all sorts of ways. I’ve seen people in a very desperate state in countries where all basic services have collapsed. They are living in poverty and with a lack of security.
 
“People assume that in the Army you can give an order and something happens. But actually it’s a bit like building an aeroplane while it’s flying. You’re prioritising what’s important and making sure you bring people together to affect change.
 
“I’m really passionate about the NHS and I want to make a difference.  I would say to anyone leaving the military that there is a use for their talents in the NHS. I’ve had a very positive experience.”
 
Since the Step into Health scheme started in September 2015, Guy’s and St Thomas’ has taken on 21 ex-military service personnel in work placements and recruited 13 staff to mentor military service leavers through the NHS recruitment process.
 
For more information contact danielle.fullwood@southlondon.hee.nhs.uk

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