Armed forces focus week at Wigan borough hospitals

Staff at Wigan borough hospitals came together to pay their respects to fallen armed forces personnel.

A service of Remembrance was held for staff, patients and members of the public at Wigan Infirmary Chapel.

Opened by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) director of corporate affairs, Paul Howard and led by the trust’s chaplaincy and spiritual care team, the service also saw PC Andy McCoombs of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) play the Last Post ahead of an immaculately observed two-minute silence.

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Armed Forces Healthcare Lead, Leanne Cobham, reading the Call to Remembrance.

The service was held following a week of celebration, recognition and commemoration as part of WWL’s Armed Forces Focus Week, where remembrance displays were created by teams based across the trust’s hospital and community services, and poppies were distributed by staff and volunteers. Meanwhile, its Tree of Hope was lit up in the colours of the Union flag as a sign of support, before turning red on Remembrance Sunday.

Leanne Cobham, WWL’s armed forces healthcare lead, who organised the week-long activities, said: “Armed Forces Focus Week has been really well received by colleagues and we have seen staff across a wide range of departments using this week to show what the armed forces means to them.

“The respect and appreciation people have shown for our armed forces during this week has been really touching, and our Remembrance Day Service in the Chapel was observed with the utmost dignity by all.”

On behalf of GMP, bugler PC McCoombs said: “It’s very nice to be asked to play the Last Post at the hospital remembrance service on behalf of Greater Manchester Police, to pay our respects to those who have fought and are still serving.”

Armed Forces Focus display - Rainbow Ward.

Emma Rogers, WWL’s associate chief nurse of quality and patient experience, who oversees the trust’s armed forces healthcare team, said: “When patients come into our care, we want to ensure that their needs are identified to make sure we can signpost them to the relevant care and services.

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“At WWL it is important for us to make sure that those veterans or serving personnel, that are attending our services, are looked after in the most appropriate way.”