Former RAF man takes skills to NHS

Dave Willey, deputy admin manager at NNUH, who has joined the trust after 38 years in the RAF. Photo

Dave Willey, deputy admin manager at NNUH, who has joined the trust after 38 years in the RAF. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

A former RAF man has put his skills to good use in the NHS, after Norfolk's busiest hospital saved his mother's life.

Dave Willey worked as an aircraft technician in the RAF for 38 years, but in June joined the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) as a deputy administration manager.

Before securing his role in the urology department he went to a step into health event in November last year, and undertook three weeks of work experience.

Mr Willey said: 'I am really enjoying it. It is such a big site and I am playing a small part whether that's giving directions to someone or sorting out a referral for a patient.'

He said he looked at the NHS after the health service saved his other's life three years ago.

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He added: 'I was not ready to put my feet up and retire and this job has got my grey matter going and this has been very good for me. The NHS and RAF are similar in that you need to be willing to work hard, being a team and to strive towards excellence.'

The NNUH is one of 50 employers across the country to have received the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence, for the way it supports the armed forces community.

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It comes after NNUH piloted step into health in 2014, a scheme which helps those leaving the military join the NHS.

Since, it has been adopted nationally by NHS Employers, to provide a dedicated pathway for the armed forces community to access career opportunities in the NHS.

Julia Watling, workforce development programme manager at NNUH, said the gold award was the culmination of years of hard work.

She said: 'The gold is the pinnacle of everything we do from supporting employment opportunities to ensuring members of the armed forces and their families are not disadvantaged when they need healthcare.

'We also support our reservists in a number of ways, including providing additional leave to support their training and recognising the need for flexibility when colleagues are to be deployed.'

Jeremy Over, NNUH director of workforce, added: 'We are fully committed to supporting the armed forces and we are proud to receive this prestigious award. There is clear alignment between the values of the armed forces and our values.'

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