13 Jun 2019

GPs hold event for veteran healthcare

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) hosted an event exploring veteran healthcare in the NHS.

The event was hosted by the RCGP and the NHS Veterans Trauma Network and looked at veteran healthcare and how former service personnel are being supported in their return to civilian life. The event also looked at how mental health affects veterans and their families.

The event was supported by the MOD, NHS Improvement, and NHS England. Kate Davies CBE, NHS England and NHS Improvement Director for Armed Forces Health spoke about what the NHS has done and is continuing to do to support the military community.

Dr Jonathan Leach, Joint Honorary Secretary for the RCGP, said: “Our veterans have differing and complex injuries as a result of their military service and they may need targeted advice, treatment and support: This forum will reflect the importance of the relationship between patient, GP and specialists across the NHS pathway.”

“GPs want to do the very best for all our patients, but one of the challenges we face in general practice is that we are not always aware of how many veterans we have on our practice lists, especially when patients choose not to divulge their veteran status.”

“This event will support family doctors and other health professionals in becoming more aware of the needs of their patients who are armed forces veterans, and make sure that healthcare professionals are aware of the various referral pathways to specialist help, including Veterans Trauma Network and Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service.”

The RCGP aims to provide tailored care for different generations of veterans and explore links between mental health and physical health, as well as issues such as chronic pain. Recently, resources were distributed to GPS detailing how to recognise veteran status and ensure it is acknowledged by hospitals and other healthcare institutions, and how to assist veterans in accessing appropriate mental health care.

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