It is estimated that there are some 100,000 members of the armed forces community who are aged 65 years and over living in Greater Manchester.

Thanks to the successful pilot of an integrated medical welfare service for armed forces families in Wigan Borough, the emotional and practical support provided by the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is now available to these Veterans, across Greater Manchester hospitals. Veterans will be identified as they enter the hospital services, triggering a referral to DMWS Welfare Officers.

The partnership formed between DMWS, Wigan Council, local health service providers and the voluntary sector has seen specialised welfare support for armed forces families be delivered across the borough in hospital or in community based health centres.

In addition, the project will play an important part in Greater Manchester devolution arrangements and the work being carried out on the integration of health and social care, highlighting the services that can support our armed forces community.

Who we support

We can provide support if:

  • You are aged 65 or over and served one day or more in the British Armed Forces (including foreign or commonwealth and National Service)
  • You are a member of the immediate family of a veteran aged 65 or over
  • You are aged 65 or over and are a widow or widower of a veteran
  • You are a carer for a veteran aged 65 or over

How we can help

DMWS provides a range of practical and emotional support that is tailored to your needs. This includes:

  • Bedside visits
  • Telephone support
  • A confidential and impartial Listening Ear Service
  • Help with resolving any medical care issues and to understand your treatment
  • Practical help such as providing toiletries and clothing
  • Providing your family with emotional and practical support when they visit you, and at home
  • Supporting you and your family when talking with your medical team
  • Help  to make sure you have support and services in place when you leave hospital
  • Accompanying and supporting you at Outpatient Appointments
  • Accompanying and supporting you at community or home based treatment
  • Supporting you and your family to access services that can help you at home
  • Support for you and your loved ones through difficult times

We currently operate in the following hospitals:

Anyone can refer to DMWS including GPs, hospital staff, services, organisations, families or via self-referral.  Our team can be contacted on

07721 127781