Friday, 15 January 2016

New medical welfare service supports the armed forces

The service will provide medical welfare support to serving military men and women and veterans who are accessing medical care across the borough in hospital or in community based health centres.

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is an independent charity which has delivered specialist welfare support to serving, veterans and families since the Second World War.

Thanks to funding received from the Government’s Libor funding in 2014, DMWS extended its services to the North West and has been working with Wigan Council and Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust to develop a unique partnership to provide a fully integrated service in Wigan.

By working in partnership with NHS Trusts, health services, council services and the voluntary sector, the project will ensure that as many members of the armed forces community as possible get the support they need.

The project will identify serving or ex-forces and their families and trigger a referral to DMWS Welfare Officers who will identify help and support that they may require.

This includes providing advocacy, practical and emotional support, referrals to other organisations for specialised support and, for serving regulars and reservists, provide a key link to their military unit.

Cllr Paul Kenny said, "As part of its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, Wigan Council is working with a range of partners to ensure that when people come into contact with the council they are asked if they or a member of their family have ever served in the armed forces."

"By asking the question the individual can be informed of and directed to a range of support and services they may be entitled to."

There’s an estimated 22,000 armed forces personnel and their families living in Wigan Borough. Anyone can refer to DMWS including GPs, hospital staff, services, organisations, families or self-referral.

For referrals please contact DMWS Wigan Welfare Officer on 07841 920659 during office hours or for out of hours support, the 24/7 North West Duty Welfare Officer on 07715 43 66 71.

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