Our commitment to you as a veteran of the UK armed forces

 

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The NHS is here to help improve your health and wellbeing and keep you mentally and physically well. It is also here to help you get better when you are ill and, when you cannot fully recover, to stay as well as you can until the end of your life.

A veteran's medals

 

It is important to register with a GP, rather than wait until you need treatment.

  1. If you have recently left the forces, it is important to give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records. This will help to make sure, your military health record transfers to your NHS health record, it gives your GP information on your health and ensures that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.
  2. Regardless of when you left the military, tell your GP that you’ve served in the armed forces. This will help your GP to better understand any military related health conditions that you may have and ensure that you are referred, when appropriate, to dedicated services for veterans. This includes the specialist mental and physical health services, Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing service.
  3. When using these services, you will be able to speak to people who:
    • understand the Armed Forces and military life 
    • are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families. 
    • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment
    • work closely with a range of organisations and charities, including military charities, to support your wider health and wellbeing needs
       
  4. With your agreement, it can sometimes be helpful for your doctor to refer you to Armed Forces charities, such as SSAFA, the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress or Help for Heroes. They can often offer significant help and support, even if they do not all deliver healthcare.
     
  5. 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.

 

For more information:

 

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Can I get help for mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder?

Yes. There are treatments available to help people cope with the psychological consequences of exposure to traumatic events, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
The NHS and other partners can deliver these services for anyone who needs them, and they also have services specifically aimed at helping veterans.

Find out more about veterans' mental health services

A group therapy session

 

Can I get financial support for my medical needs?

If you're a war pensioner who needs medical treatment or care because you were disabled while serving in the armed forces during war, you should seek advice and help from Veterans UK and the Veterans Welfare Service.

You may also be able to get help from the Royal British Legion.

 

I'm disabled. Can I get financial support?

If you need items like a stairlift, bathroom adaptations or personal alarm system, Veterans UK and the Veterans Welfare Service can help you apply for these from your local social services.

 

Where can I get information about ex-service nursing homes?

The Ex-Services Homes Referral Agency (ESHRA) has a database of all ex-service nursing, convalescent and respite care homes in the UK.

Contact the Royal British Legion on 08457 725725.

 

 

This means that you can expect the following from our practice:

  • 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.
  • 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 understand your health and wellbeing needs, so you don’t have to keep repeating your ‘personal story’.
  • We can give 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. You can speak to our practice team by phone or completing an eConsult. 

For more information: