We’re excited to announce that we are officially accredited as an Armed Forces Veteran Friendly GP Practice!
Being accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners means that a practice can better identify and treat veterans, refer them, where appropriate, to dedicated NHS services (such as the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison service (TILS), the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veterans Trauma Network) and capture better data to improve future health provision.
It also means that the NHS is better able to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, which says the Armed Forces community, including veterans, should face no disadvantage in accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions, subject to clinical need.
A veteran is someone who has served in the British Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) for at least one day. Veterans also include any member of the Merchant Marine who has served in a war zone. This includes crew from convoys in World War 2 and more recently in the Falklands conflict and Gulf Wars.
About 18,000 service people move back into civilian life every year and whilst most of these individuals have similar levels of health to the general population, around 2,000 leave on medical grounds. The top reasons for medical discharge are for issues relating to back, knees, mental health and hearing.
If you are a veteran please let us know!
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.
It does not matter if you’re due to leave the armed forces, just left the armed forces or left many years ago. Op COURAGE are here to help and understand the courage it takes to speak to someone.
When you contact Op COURAGE, you’ll 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
How Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service can help
The first step to getting help is to contact Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.
You can contact the service yourself or ask your GP, a charity or someone else, such as a family member or friend, to do this for you.
The service will arrange for you to have an assessment, to make sure you get the right care and support.
Everyone is different, so the service offers a range of treatments, including:
- working with Defence Medical Services to make sure you get mental health care and support as you transition from the military to civilian life
- recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing care and treatment for this
- therapeutic treatment for more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
- intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
- helping you to access other NHS services if needed, such as “Improving access to psychological therapies” (IAPT) and eating disorder services
- working with charities and local organisations to support you with your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support
Support for armed forces families
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, the rest of the family can be affected.
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service can help your family get care and support from local services. With your permission, they can also be involved in your care plan.
To get help from this service you must:
- be a resident in England and have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
- be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing and eligible to register with a GP
- provide your military service number or another form of eligibility
How to contact Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
Call 0300 323 0137 or email [email protected] Includes the Op COURAGE urgent care and support service for The Midlands.
Further information is available HERE