What can you expect from us?
- We will ask all patients if they have served in the UK Armed Forces (as a regular or reservist). If you have, we will note this in your medical record, with your permission.
- We will ask you to share details of your time in service to help us to assess the best support and treatment for you.
- The information you share will be kept confidential and we will always speak to you before sharing this with other services you may be referred to.
- You can make an appointment to see our clinical lead for veteran’s health. This person has a comprehensive understanding of the Armed Forces, health conditions linked to service, and the dedicated support you can access.
- The NHS has a duty to support the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. This means that you will get priority treatment for any medical condition which has been caused by your service, subject to the clinical needs of other patients.
- We will let you know what choices are available for your care and treatment and help you to make informed decisions on what to do.
- Where appropriate and with your consent, we can refer you to dedicated veterans health services.
- If you need to be seen by another service, we will let them know you’re a veteran and make sure they have an understanding of your health and wellbeing needs, so you don’t have to keep repeating your ‘personal story’.
- We can give you advice and support to your loved ones who may be affected by your health conditions.
- We will investigate any issues and complaints that you may have about your care. If you have any concerns about the services we offer, please speak to one of the practice team
- To find out more, please download this leaflet.
If you would like to provide feedback on how we are performing as a veteran friendly GP practice, please let a member of our staff know or you can send your comments to the Royal College of General Practitioners at Veterans@rcgp.org.uk
For information on health services for the Armed Forces community, please visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/armedforceshealth. Twitter @NHSArmedForces
Free Mental Health support
Free Mental Health support for all UK Military Veterans and their family members. Togetherall is a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. Click here for more information
Op COURAGE: Specialist care for Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, click here for details
Op NOVA: Supporting Veterans in The Justice System, for more information on Op Nova click here
Patient case study
Patient, Alexander Kennedy, 31, who served in Afghanistan, says he believes that the programme has the potential to save lives.
“In the UK we don’t really talk much about the impact of service. I joined the army when I was 16 years-old and experienced conflict in Afghanistan when I was 18. When I eventually left, my head was in a mess. I had severe PTSD and just couldn’t adjust from having been in a war torn country to then walking around my local supermarket – it just didn’t feel right. I tried to block out my trauma with alcohol but, in the end, nothing worked. I agreed to see my parent’s GP but only because he was ex-military. I didn’t have high hopes but, looking back now, I believe the care I received saved my life. Being equipped to support veterans meant that my GP recognised the potential outcomes of my condition if I wasn’t given the right support, and he knew exactly what services were available too. It hasn’t been an easy road but, since then, I’ve been able to rebuild my life and now, eight years later, I’m hoping to become a Paramedic. The last few months have been hard for veterans and the situation in Ukraine has been triggering for many – myself included. However, it’s fantastic that, up and down the country, GP practices and veteran patients are benefitting from this proven programme. I’d love to see every GP practice in the country sign-up, so that any veteran that is struggling, as I was, can get the understanding and support they need to start their road to recovery.”
Useful contacts and information