Hospital trust celebrates the work it does for Wigan's armed forces community

The work hospital staff do for Wigan’s armed forces community is being saluted
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Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) has been taking part in its own celebrations during the current Armed Forces Week.

A series of events has been taking place, including the launch of the trust’s new Carers Passport and Policy which allows veterans to have a carer or loved one stay with them while receiving treatment.

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A coffee afternoon has also held in the trust’s staff Wellbeing Lounge at Wigan Infirmary with the 207 Field Hospital Reservists.

Leanne Cobham and Emma Rogers.Leanne Cobham and Emma Rogers.
Leanne Cobham and Emma Rogers.

Rabina Tindale, WWL’s Chief Nurse said: “All of us at WWL are incredibly proud of the work we have done to constantly improve the standard of care we provide for our armed forces community.”

Since gaining Veteran Aware status back in 2018, WWL has gone above and beyond in improving the care it provides for our local armed forces community as well as helping their career opportunities.

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WWL’s Armed Forces Healthcare Lead, Leanne Cobham, has been instrumental in the transformation and has played a huge role in initiatives such as the Armed Forces Guaranteed Interview Scheme, giving veterans and their families the opportunity to interview for roles at WWL once they meet the job criteria.

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Most recently during Pride Month, it became just the fourth NHS trust in the country to be accredited with the Pride in Veteran Standard.

Bosses say that this demonstrates that all staff are committed to providing the best possible support to LGBTQIA+ veterans and their families.

Ms Cobham said: “At WWL we are all extremely committed to providing the best possible care for our local armed forces community.

“Through gaining accreditation from the Pride in Veteran Standard and achieving the Gold Award from the Armed Forces Covenant, we have shown our commitment to our veterans and their families and are constantly looking to improve the care and opportunities we can provide for them.

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“As part of this week’s Armed Forces Week I am looking forward to celebrating how much we have achieved as a trust in constantly improving the exceptional standard of care that our armed forces community expects when accessing our services.”

Veterans also give up their time to get involved with the trust, including Mike Mills.

Mr Mills has been the recipient of care but also volunteered in the past and is involved with the trust’s development groups where he provides his expertise from both a patient and veteran perspective.

He said: “I have found that my visits to WWL have always been extremely positive and I have always been treated with respect and that my military service has opened up the opportunity for conversation and dialogue between myself and members of staff.

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“This has all helped to put me at ease as a patient and make my time at WWL a more pleasurable experience and I’m now available to the Trust’s Armed Forces Healthcare Lead at any time that she needs my input or assistance.”

There are Armed Forces Day celebrations in Wigan town centre on Saturday June 24.