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Veterans

Armed forces veteran friendly accredited GP practice

Certificate of accreditation (PDF, 177KB)

Briefing December 2021: Armed Forces healthcare briefing and latest updates on COVID-19 (EXTERNAL PDF LINK)

"Military veterans" is a broad term that often refers to serving military personnel, reservists, people who previously served in the armed forces, their partners and family members.

The groups of people above are also sometimes described as the "armed forces community"

Top tips for veterans

How to get the most from your GP

  1. It is important to register with a GP, rather than wait until you need treatment. Visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk to find details of GP practices in your local area.
  2. If you’ve 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. This will also give your GP information on your health and ensure that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.
  3. Regardless of when you left the military, tell your GP that you’ve served in the UK 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, where appropriate, to dedicated services for veterans.
    This includes the specialist mental and physical health services, Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and the Veterans Trauma Network.
    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, speak to your GP or visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/armedforceshealth
Twitter @NHSArmedForces

Patient charter: our commitment to you as a veteran of the UK Armed Forces

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.

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.
  • 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 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 speak to our practice manager or one of our GPs or nurses.

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

Priority Treatment For Veterans

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day. There are around 2.8 million veterans in the UK.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS hospital care for any condition, as long as it's related to their service and subject to the clinical need of others.

If the NHS service you are dealing with is unaware of priority treatment, you are actively encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have told them that you have served.

You can find out more on the NHS Website

Where To Go For Help And Advice

Warrington’s mental health awareness site www.happyoksad.org.uk has a directory of mental health support services, which includes a section specifically for military veterans. To find this section go to www.happyoksad.org.uk, click on the blue “Adults click here” button, then click on the drop down heading “organisations which support military veterans”.

Drugs

Military veterans are entitled to priority healthcare and can be fast tracked into treatment, speak to your GP for more information. You are classed as a military veteran for serving just one day in the Armed Forces.

Do you need free, confidential help or advice with alcohol or drugs?

Please contact Cgl Pathways:

  • Ring: 01925 415176
  • Visit: 14-16 Bold Street, WA1 1DE

Military Veterans’ Support From Veterans in Mind, in Cheshire and Merseyside

Veterans in Mind provide psychological therapy and recovery interventions to ex-service personnel who have served in the armed forces and are registered with a GP in Cheshire & Merseyside (excluding Liverpool).

Our aim is to contribute to improving the mental health and wellbeing of ex-forces personnel and their families.

The Veterans in Mind service is delivered by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) in partnership with Veterans of the Foundation, Veterans in Sefton and the Armed Forces Community Support Hub.

Our services

The specialist mental health services we offer incorporate a wide range of psychological interventions tailored to meet the individual needs of all veterans. These can include:

  • Comprehensive clinical assessment
  • Clinical psychology
  • Support with housing, benefits, occupational and social issues
  • Psychological therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • CBT-informed interventions at Step 2 and Step 3
  • Recovery-focused interventions around alcohol and substance use We offer all of our interventions individually and face to face

Who can access the service?

A veteran is someone who has served to at least one day in any of the British Armed Forces, regular or reserves.

Veterans in Mind provides support for exforces personnel who are experiencing psychological difficulties associated with being in the Armed Forces, and require intervention to recover from these.

We are commissioned to provide our services in the counties of Cheshire and Merseyside (excluding the Liverpool city area).

Our team

Working with Veterans of the Foundation, the Armed Forces Community Support Hub and Veterans in Sefton, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) have a team of expert staff, who are fully trained and informed to understand the unique experiences of ex-forces personnel. Our team values enable us to provide a caring and non-judgemental approach and we are sensitive to military culture.

Our highly-skilled professional team includes a psychologist, a high intensity therapist, psychological wellbeing practitioner and a recovery coordinator who provides specialist assessments and interventions for ex-forces personnel.

Where are our services?

Veterans in Mind offer treatment and support out in the community across Cheshire and Merseyside (excluding Liverpool) in a wide range of locations that are convenient to our service users. Locations typically include health centres, GP surgeries and community bases. We aim to ensure you have a choice of where you would like to attend.

Coming to meet us

You can self-refer to our service using the online form, or over the telephone if you require support. You can also ask that someone make a referral on your behalf. Initially you will be contacted via telephone for a brief discussion around the referral, your needs and what you can expect from the service. If the service is suitable for you, you will then be offered an assessment with one of the team and we will collaboratively assess and discuss what treatments and therapies are right for you. We will also discuss future appointments and the best location for these to take place.

We understand how important confidentiality is to you and we will explain fully what you can expect and how we will maintain your confidentiality. As NHS professionals, we always work to ensure your confidentiality at all times.

What we do

Veterans in Mind works collaboratively with you to provide support and care with a focus on improving psychological wellbeing, increasing social networks and promoting long-term recovery.

We deliver timely, effective clinical treatment and welfare support to ex-forces personnel who suffer from ongoing psychological issues resulting from their time serving in the Armed Forces. These can include moderate to severe problems with depression, anxiety, substance misuse, trauma, adjustment disorders and other difficulties.

Through our partnerships, we can offer some support to ex-forces personnel and their families in relation to housing, financial, and social needs.

How can I access the service?

To make a referral you can complete a simple online referral form by visiting www.gmmh.nhs.uk/military-veterans-services

Alternatively, you can contact the service on 0151 908 0019.

We accept self-referrals and referrals from healthcare professionals, GPs, third party organisations, family members or carers.

Please note that individuals referred into the service must be registered with a GP in Cheshire or Merseyside (excluding Liverpool).

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