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GP veteransThe government recently launched a campaign to help improve veterans’ access to healthcare services. This included encouraging GPs to register for the Veteran Friendly Accreditation Scheme.

Gillingham Medical Practice continues to be an Armed Forces Veteran Friendly GP Practice so that veterans can benefit from specialist care from clinicians who understand the armed forces community.

Lizzie Kingsbury, the Armed Forces Social Prescriber working for Help and Care Dorset Self-Management Service, delivered some excellent training to staff so that they can refer veterans to the correct veteran mental and physical health care such as OpRESTORE and OpCOURAGE.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Johnny Mercer said: ‘It is really important to tell you GP that you served so you can access all the veteran specific support services you are entitled to.’

Kate Davies, National Director for Armed Forces Health, NHS England, said: ‘My message to veterans is that it’s never too late to tell your GP Practice you’ve served for or when you left the Armed Forces, sharing this information may be relevant to your health and care, now or in the future, and the NHS is here for you.’

Every year around 15,000 individuals leave the UK armed forces of which 60.8% leave by choice, 26.4% leave due to time served and 12.8% for other reasons.

It is estimated that 11% of veterans struggle to adjust to life as a civilian Moving from the military (a collectivists culture) to the civilian (a individualistic culture) may be experienced as a second (or reverse) culture shock.

Dr Emily Brookes, the Royal College of General Practitioners Veterans Clinical Champions, sai: ‘The Veteran Friendly Accreditation Scheme is designed to help GPs understand what medical issues are most common in veteran patients and can help save time in diagnosing and treating them.’

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