Our PCN is Veteran Friendly

Posted by: jreeveseastwood - Posted on:

veteran friendly certificate 2

The NHS in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is working towards approving NHS GP practices in England as veteran-friendly accredited. To date, in excess of 1000 practices are now veteran-friendly accredited, accounting for 14% of all practices in England. We at the North Arden PCN are proud that all three of our associated surgeries are veteran friendly accredited and keen to support our Armed Forces community. This means we have a dedicated Clinician who has a specialist knowledge of service-related health conditions and veteran specific health services. This is important in helping Veterans to get the best care and treatment.

Being accredited means that a practice can better identify and treat veterans, refer them, where appropriate, to dedicated NHS services (such as the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison service (TILS), the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veterans Trauma Network). It also means that the NHS is better able to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, whereby the Armed Forces community, including veterans, should face no disadvantage in accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions, subject to clinical need. Please click HERE to read the patient charter for veterans.

Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the associated impact for individuals and their families. These differences can be reflected in the way in which healthcare is delivered, the range and types of some specific services provided and the long-term impact upon patients and families.

To read more about the personalised care available for veterans and their families please click on the link below.

For some top tips for veterans and how they can get the most from their GP please click on the link below.

A veteran is anyone who has served a day or more in the UK Armed Forces, whether as a regular or reservist and can be of any age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality. There are 1.74 million in England and research shows that many may be silently struggling with physical or mental health problems as they worry that they won’t be understood by civilian health and care professionals.

The nation regards its veterans highly and they are recognised by NHS England as a ‘special group’ within the general population. NHS England seeks to ensure that veterans are always considered when commissioning services.

All military veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces. However, this is always subject to clinical need and does not entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need.

An ID card for armed forces veterans is being issued to help access specialist support and services. These cards will allow veterans to maintain a tangible link to their career in the forces.

For more information, please see Veterans’ Gateway.

If you are ex forces, please let your GP know to help ensure you are getting the best possible care.

You may be worried about sharing information about your time in the Armed Forces. Please note that the NHS is bound by a confidentiality code of practice to ensure GPs, nurses and other people working within the NHS deliver a confidential service bound by law.

There are a wide variety of services and charities that offer help to veterans and their families to facilitate them living their best lives. Please see the options below for a selection of useful sites.

  • SSAFA (SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is a UK charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents. They give individual help, support and guidance either personally or over the phone.)
  • The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service (The Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service (formerly known as London Veterans’ Service (LVS) is a free NHS mental health service for all ex-serving members of the UK Armed Forces and service personnel who are making the transition to civilian life including reservists. They work with any veterans’ and those transitioning from military to civilian who live in London, Greater London, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Medway or are registered with a GP in these areas. They work with veterans’ who are experiencing mental health, addiction and general wellbeing issues, based at St. Pancras Hospital.)
  • Royal British Legion (the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, with 180,000 members, 110,000 volunteers and a network of partners and charities; helping us give support wherever and whenever it’s needed.)
  • Help the Heroes (Life can be tough when a military career comes to an end, especially if it has been cut short by illness or injury. Overnight, people lose not only their job, but also a support network that is like family.)
  • NHS UK (Provides information and links towards helping Veterans make the most of resources within the NHS.)
  • Veterans Gateway (Are the first point of contact for you and your loved ones. They can be contacted 24/7 for help across housing, mental wellbeing, finances and more.)
  • Blind Veterans UK (Blind Veterans UK helps vision-impaired ex-Servicemen and women to rebuild their lives after sight loss. They provide rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to veterans regardless of how or when they lost their sight.)
  • Veteran Aware (The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers – including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance trusts – who have agreed to be exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces community (be they Regular, Reserves, Veterans, spouses or dependants).
  • Blesma (Blesma supports limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Blesma are dedicated to assisting serving and ex-service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight. They support these men and women in their communities throughout the UK and provide centralised assistance to those living overseas.)
  • Combat Stress (Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. They provide free specialised clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health conditions. Combat Stress has a strategic partnership with the MOD and the Department of Health.)
  • Forces Online (Help and assistance for Armed Forces Veterans by offering a sign posting service to expert support providers for their benefit.)