Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust will be planting memorial trees at Fairfield General, Royal Oldham, Rochdale Infirmary and Salford Royal hospitals to remember health care workers across the country who have taken their own lives.

The Trust is the first in the North West to commit to plant trees on every hospital site as part of the National Memorial Tree Campaign, led by the medical mental health charity Doctors in Distress and in association with its Patron, BAFTA winner and former NHS doctor Adam Kay.

The campaign honours the memory of healthcare professionals and highlights the Trust and their charity, NorthCare Charity's, commitment to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of staff. The first of the trees was planted this week at Rochdale Infirmary outside the Education Centre, with colleagues from across Rochdale Care Organisation and the Mayor of Rochdale in attendance. There are plans to host planting ceremonies on the other hospital sites in the coming months.

Statistics show that in the UK one doctor takes their own life every three weeks and one nurse takes their own life every week. These shocking figures are a stark reminder that the wellbeing of our healthcare workers is paramount.

Spearheaded by Staff Governor and Governance Manager, Craig Wood, the Trust has chosen to join the Doctors in Distress’ National Tree Planting initiative and plant a memorial tree in our grounds, promoting their duty of care for the mental health of staff and remembering those who have lost their lives.


Doctors in Distress’ Chief Executive, Ann Paul, said, “We would like every hospital trust in the country to support our National Memorial Tree Campaign and plant a memorial tree, which will highlight their commitment to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

“Together we can help to break down the stigma around mental health and help to prevent further suicides.”

Jess Pollard, Community Fundraising Manager for NorthCare Charity, the official charity of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Doctors in Distress to honour our colleagues who have taken their lives. This campaign highlights the importance of supporting the mental wellbeing of our staff, which is one of our key fundraising priorities.

“NorthCare Charity raises money to support the Trust to fund projects and initiatives above and beyond the NHS standard, many of which aim to increase the resources and support available for colleagues to manage their mental health and wellbeing. Planting these trees is a visual symbol of our commitment to care for our staff so that they can provide the best care for our​​​​​​​ patients.”

Doctors in Distress Patron, BAFTA winner, former NHS doctor and bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay, said, “the first step in solving a problem must be in admitting that the problem exists, and this is something I tried to highlight in the BBC adaptation of my book, This is Going to Hurt. The series culminated in the death by suicide of a doctor called Shruti - a fictional character based on so many tragic stories. In the show, a tree was planted in her memorial, which has led to trees being planted in real-life hospitals to commemorate lost colleagues.

“I'm very proud to support Doctors in Distress in raising awareness of this vital issue and protecting the mental health of healthcare workers."