Meet the Wigan man who is an NHS nurse AND an armed forces Major

A Wigan nurse has spoken of his pride at working for local health services during the introduction of the new ‘Veterans’ Aware’ campaign, and also of his work abroad as an army reservist volunteer.

By Gaynor Clarke
Friday, 17th January 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 2:01 pm

Alistair Bond returned to Wigan to work for Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust after working for many years in hospitals across the North West.

And it was during his time at one of these centres that he joined the Territorial Army, where he has had an illustrious career.

Alistair explained: “While at Broadgreen, my Nursing Officer was the Matron in the local TA Medical Unit and in 1993, she introduced me to Liverpool Field Hospital, where I have served in for the last 26 years, obtaining the rank of Major.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Major Alistair Bond, who uses his TA excellence in his job on the orthopaedic ward at Wrightington Hospital

“Growing up, I had a passion for orthopaedics and I have also always had a calling to join the military.

Raised and educated in Wigan, Alistair always knew that one day he would return home to work, and eventually did just that.

He added: “I had the honour to serve in the last Gulf War for five months in 2003, starting in Kuwait and moving into Iraq, just outside Basra.

“It was my job to deliver NHS level care to the soldiers fighting for our country and the local civilian population.

“Subsequent to this, I did two tours in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2011, based at Camp Bastion. Our role was to man and operate a hospital facility, however, the facilities mirrored what you would expect and see in your local hospital in the UK.

“It has also allowed me the opportunity to develop good leadership qualities, which I now use on a daily basis in my role at WWL.

“After my last tour in the Gulf, I was looking for a new challenge and decided to come back to work at Wrightington Hospital, the centre of orthopaedic excellence.”

In November 2018, WWL received accreditation from the VCHA (Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance) and became one of the first Trusts in the North West to become “Veteran Aware”.

Alistair, who is orthopaedic deputy ward manager at Wrightington, added: “This was like a breath of fresh air for me, as I am a veteran myself. I think it is really good to raise the profile about Army Reservists and Veterans, particularly in the NHS.”

Working in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, the programme aims to ensure members of the armed forces and their families, along with ex-personnel, are not be disadvantaged compared to other citizens when accessing healthcare.

He said: “I have spent 15 enjoyable years in Wigan and I hope to spend many more. Whether working as a reservist or as a deputy ward manager, I am very proud to have served both my country and the NHS.”