NHS England has announced that Doctors practices across England will be encouraged to become ‘veteran friendly’ ensuring that administrative and medical staff at the surgery are better able to identify veterans and have an understanding of the specific needs of former members of the armed services.
Surgeries can apply for Military Veteran Aware Accreditation.
To become accredited, GP practices need to:
- have a lead for veterans’ issues within the surgery;
- identify and flag veterans on their computer system;
- undertake dedicated training and attend armed forces healthcare meetings;
- increase understanding of the health needs of veterans amongst both clinical and administrative staff.
Following the initial idea by a GP in North Yorkshire a successful pilot was carried out in the West Midlands and the scheme will now be rolled out across the country.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs commented “Veterans often have unique health needs, and this new scheme is a fantastic way of ensuring that when they visit their GP, for whatever reason, these needs are flagged up, considered and accommodated. It’s great to see successful local initiatives being rolled out nationally so that they can benefit patients across the country.”