How to get the right healthcare from your GP

Here are some top tips from Veterans’ Gateway, and its NHS partner, on how to start off well with your GP.

Register early with your GP:

It may seem obvious, but don’t wait until you reach crisis point. Register as  soon as possible. If you don’t know the details of practices in your area visit the NHS website for local GPs.

Tell your GP that you’ve served in the UK Armed Forces:

Ask for the term ‘military veteran’ to be recorded in your patient record at the GP practice. This helps your GP to better understand any military related health conditions that you may have. It also ensures that you are referred, where appropriate, to dedicated health and wellbeing services for veterans.

Give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records:

It is important to do this to ensure your military health record transfers to your NHS health record. Especially if you’ve recently left the Armed Forces. This gives your GP relevant information on your health, and ensures that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.

Other NHS help:

As a veteran you will be entitled to priority healthcare for service related conditions. Find out more in our guides for England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Op Courage is a new service that helps those in the Armed Forces who are suffering from a mental health crisis. It means that veterans can access the most suitable level of service for them across seven regions in England. 

In Northern Ireland veterans can access dedicated support through the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office.

In Scotland  veterans can access veteran-led mental health, and welfare support through Veterans First Point, part of NHS Scotland. This includes guidance from experienced Peer Support Workers.

In Wales, the Welsh Government has ensured that the NHS has a Veteran Therapist in each Local Health Board.

Visit Veterans’ Gateway physical health and mental wellbeing sections for more information from other partners. And contact our helpline team 24/7.