Staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), came together to pay their respects to fallen armed forces personnel as part of Remembrance Day on Friday 11th November.
A Service of Remembrance was held for staff, patients and members of the public in the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary Chapel on Friday morning. Opened by WWL’s 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.
The service was held following a week of celebration, recognition and commemoration as part of the Trust’s Armed Forces Focus Week, where Remembrance displays were created by teams based across WWL’s hospital and community services, and poppies were distributed by staff and volunteers, including visitors from the 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital to patients who couldn’t access them. Meanwhile, the Trust’s Tree of Hope was lit up in the colours of the Union Jack flag as a sign of support, before turning red on Remembrance Day.
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 attending the Service of Remembrance on behalf of GMP, Bugler, PC McCoombs added: “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.”
As a Veteran Aware Trust, WWL is committed to supporting patients and staff who have served in the armed forces, and their families. The Trust was also awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, the highest honour given to organisations who support the armed forces.
Speaking about WWL’s commitment to the armed forces community, 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.
“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.”