9 December 2020

Hospital staff on the front line of the NHS fight against coronavirus are being helped to unwind thanks to some first class support from airline crews.

Project Wingman is coming to SaTH. Picture taken at another hospital.

Healthcare workers and support staff at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) are being treated to a ‘first class lounge’ experience by cabin crew and pilots who have been furloughed or made redundant during the global health pandemic.

The crews, working as part of a national programme called Project Wingman, are visiting hospitals across the country.

And next week they will set up lounges at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals – The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford (PRH).

Open two days a week, they are environments where hospital staff can unwind and de-stress before, during or after shifts by chatting to crewmembers or musing over a glossy magazine while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Services at SaTH, said: “We can’t thank the airline crews enough for using their own time to support our staff in this way.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure emotional wellbeing is a priority for colleagues across the trust and I would encourage staff to take a break in the lounge whenever they can.

“The Project Wingman lounges will provide a welcome space for colleagues to pause, reflect and unwind as together we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The lounge at PRH will be based in the Common Room in the Education Centre. It will open on 14 December and be open on Mondays and Tuesdays. Arrangements for the lounge at RSH will be finalised in the upcoming weeks.

Captain Emma Henderson, CEO and Founder of Project Wingman, said: “We are delighted that Project Wingman volunteers continue to step up to support our NHS colleagues despite their own uncertain futures. This is such a great way for us to shed a little bit of light and hope especially at this time of year.”