Have you identified as a veteran with your GP?


Did you know that identifying as a veteran with your GP will help speed up your access to services?

Recently, Veterans’ Minister, Johnny Mercer and Health Secretary, Steve Barclay shared that they want veterans to declare their service with their local GP.

That way you can quickly access specialist NHS England healthcare pathways and support from service charities.

These pathways include Op COURAGE and Op RESTORE which offer dedicated mental and physical health for Ex-Forces.

So far 740 referrals have already been made to Op RESTORE  and many more could benefit from this multi-disciplinary service.

Op RESTORE  supports veterans in England who have served in, or are leaving, the UK Armed Forces.

To find out more about the pathway, Ministers recently met with the team, plus veterans, at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, North London.

The veterans had ongoing physical health injuries and related medical problems attributed to their time in the armed forces.

And it was clear that an understanding of military backgrounds helps multi-disciplinary teams to restore the physical health and wellbeing of veterans.

Maurillia, an Op RESTORE patient, shared:

The service has made me aware that I matter, that I have a voice – no matter how small or how soft. To speak to a consultant who understands my injuries and hear someone else rather than myself say the same things in a different way, no matter how long it has taken. The support to me along this journey from Op RESTORE has been brilliant.

Importantly, from the autumn, Op RESTORE will be able to support veterans to access the Veteran Mobility Fund.

This fund will deliver high quality support to veterans with physical disabilities.  Grants will  enable them to access mobility equipment that meets their needs and improves their quality of life.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon. Johnny Mercer said:

The reason I joined this government was to improve access to veterans’ care, and I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made over the last few years.

We now have clear and dedicated pathways for mental and physical health, and are looking at how we can extend this support further to provide wraparound, community support.

If you have been injured, mentally or physically, by your time in service, please contact your GP and identify yourself as a veteran so you can access the specialist treatment that’s right for you.

Top tips for registering with your GP:

– It is important to register with a GP, rather than wait until you need treatment. Visit the NHS website to find out details of GP practices in your local area (England)

– 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 in the GP computer system. 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 health and wellbeing services for veterans.

– Give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records: If you’ve recently left the forces, it is important to do this to help ensure your military health record transfers to your NHS health record. This will give your GP information on your health and ensure that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.

Veterans’ Gateway guides to Op COURAGE and Op RESTORE provide key information to the pathways plus further useful links.