A ROYAL Oldham Hospital ward manager and the bereavement team which provided support to victims and families following the arena bombing atrocity have been nominated in the first Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion Awards.

Post natal ward manager Melanie Wildman is in the running for the Leader in Supporting Talent Development accolade in the awards which are organised by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership which oversees the area’s £6bn devolved health and social care budget, with support from the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

Up for the Collaboration Award, the SWAN Bereavement Squad provided support to the victims and their families following the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 people and injured many more on 22 May last year.

Nearly one year on they are still providing support to the families of victims,

The SWAN bereavement nurses worked closely with their bereavement colleagues across Greater Manchester, including coroners, police family liaison officers, mortuary staff, NWAS, multi-faith leaders and voluntary organisations such as the Red Cross.

Dedicated Melanie said she was over the moon to be shortlisted: “I have worked for the Trust for 26 years I am absolutely thrilled to have received a nomination.

"The women and their families on the ward mean everything to me and the care and experience that they receive during their stay is paramount.

"I am keen to move our service forward for all our women and to do this I have invested in the staff on the ward. I try to lead by example and strongly believe that if you have a happy motivated team behind you then you can do anything.”

Fiona Murphy MBE, Associate Director of Nursing at the Northern Care Alliance said: “The SWAN team showed great compassion, professionalism and courage on the night of the Arena bombing, which was the most difficult and testing period in their careers. Everyone went above and beyond proving support to the victims and their families and continue to do so. It is a great honour to be shortlisted for this award.

They are among three nominations from the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group which is made up two Trusts - Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which together employ over 17,000 staff.

The group operates five hospitals - The Royal Oldham, Salford Royal, Fairfield General in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General as well as community services.

A total of 33 champions have been shortlisted from almost 400 nominations completed by patients, colleagues and the general public. All nominations will be considered by a judging panel and the winners announced at a sponsored event on 13 July.

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “I would like to congratulate every single individual and team that has been nominated for an award. Just to be nominated is a real achievement in itself and is recognition of the difference these people are making in their communities.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “I am really pleased with the way the people of Greater Manchester have embraced this opportunity to recognise the people who work around the clock to keep our communities well.

For more information and the full shortlist go to www.gmchampionawards.co.uk/news/shortlist-announced/.