We are fortunate to have been successful to be registered as a Military Veteran Friendly Practice which is a great honour. Please see information below about what this means.
Dr Jonathan Leach is our GP lead on this and brings his extensive veteran experience to our Practice – both Davenal House and Stoke Prior Surgery.
Armed Forces Veteran Friendly Accreditation – FAQs
What is a veteran?
A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve. It means the same as ‘ex service personnel’.
Whilst many aspects of health need are the same as the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the impact upon 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.
What is the Armed Forces Covenant?
The Armed Forces Covenant sets the following goals with respect to healthcare:
- Members of the Armed Forces community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to, healthcare as received by any other UK citizen in the area where they live
- Personnel injured on operations should be treated in conditions which recognise the specific needs of Service personnel
- Family members should retain their relative position on any NHS waiting list, if moved around the UK due to the Service person being posted
- Veterans should receive priority treatment (subject to the clinical needs of others) in respect of NHS secondary healthcare relating to a condition resulting from their service in the Armed Forces
- Veterans should be able to access mental health professionals who have an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.
This is reflected in the NHS Constitution, which states ‘the NHS will ensure that in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, those in the Armed Forces, reservists, their families and veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the area they reside’.
The Covenant is an important aspect of our approach to care, especially as the Armed Forces community can be at a disadvantage due to their mobility, and frequent moves etc.
What dedicated NHS services are available to veterans?
The service comprises three elements:
- Transition: service for those in transition, leaving the armed forces
The service works with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to offer mental health support for Armed Forces personnel approaching discharge.
- Intervention: service for veterans with complex presentation
Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will have an assessment within two weeks of a receipt of referral. If their needs are identified as more complex, they will be offered an appointment two weeks thereafter at the TILS. This will be with a clinician who has an expert understanding of Armed Forces life and culture. They may also be supported by a care coordinator who will liaise with other services and organisations to ensure a coordinated approach to their care.
- Liaison: general service for veterans
Patients who do not have complex presentations, yet would benefit from NHS care, will be referred into local mainstream NHS mental health services where they will receive treatment and support.
Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Veterans
A guide for General Practitioners, supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal British Legion, and Combat Stress.