A military veteran is defined as anyone who has served more than one day in the armed forces.
It is well known that military veterans have higher than average rates of alcohol misuse and mental health problems. The military culture often makes it difficult for veterans to admit to problems and reach out for help.
Both the partners at the practice served in the Army and have direct combat experience during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Because of this experience, we were approached by several veterans looking to join a local practice who understood their needs.
Veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care for conditions related to their service. It is important that if you have served, you let us know. There is a section on our new patient questionnaire about this, but existing patients should also make staff aware of their veteran status.
Because of our experience of veterans looking for GP practices with military medicine expertise, we developed the concept of a 'veteran friendly' kitemark for GP practices to use.
We are proud to say that this has been taken up by NHS England, the MOD and Royal College of General Practitioners and 52 GP practices have signed up to the pilot phase of the kitemark.
We also have strong links with our local Armed Forces Network who provide links to local support services for military veterans and their families.