An NHS worker who is committed to improving the health and pastoral care of veterans in the county, has been named the most inspirational woman in Northampton.
Pat Haslam of Kingsthorpe, veteran lead for NHS Nene is an ambassador in promoting the Northamptonshire Armed Forces Community Covenant (AFCC) scheme alongside GPs, ensuring that veterans are directed to the right care or voluntary service.
With the help of her team, Mrs Haslam has created a wallet-sized support card to signpost veterans of all ages to a visit a doctor if they are suffering from mental health issues.
She told the Chronicle & Echo that she has a real passion for veterans care and was kept in the dark about her nomination.
She said: “I knew nothing about it, a week ago I had a phone call from someone from the council, I thought it was a wind-up.
“I was overwhelmed, it was one of those surreal moments. When I came into work on Monday the support was unbelievable.
“I’m very proud of the work the Community Covenant does as a whole.”
Mrs Haslam has worked for NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group as an administrator for five years alongside her role as veteran lead.
The veteran leader for the county told the Chron that there are 22,500 ex-service members living in Northamptonshire and 154 veterans have accessed ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPA) services in the first nine months of 2016.
The 154 veterans are ex-service members who suffer from low-level mental health problems and are managed in the county.
Under her watch, veteran liaison champions have been introduced to support veterans and their families who might have problems tackling social issues, such as housing.
Mrs Haslam's work has been recognised country-wide and has been given gold-stamp approval by military organisations dotted around England.
She said it's inspiring to see women doing great work.
"I'm proud to see women in the forefront of work every day, I'm sure all of these women [finalists] did a fantastic job."