Both the GP partner and Managing Partner served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, including active service in several Middle East countries. We recognise the unique circumstances and the special dedication required to serve in the Armed Forces. This can place a significant strain on soldiers, sailors, airmen and their families. Not all service leavers are mad, bad or sad, but there are much higher rates of mental health or alcohol problems amongst veterans as well as injuries received during service. We also know that many ex-forces personnel are reluctant to seek help or find it difficult to find health service workers who can empathise and relate to their unique experiences.
We feel it is important that veterans are able to choose a GP practice where they can be understood and helped by staff with specific awareness of service-leavers' health needs. We worked on developing the concept of a veterans' health kitemark to identify practices where there had been specific awareness and training around veterans' health. The Royal College of General Practitioners, NHS England and the Ministry of Defence, have taken and developed our concept and we are pleased to see that 52 practices have signed up to the pilot phase of the kitemark.
The Armed Forces Covenant aims to prevent Veterans and service families from being disadvantaged by service life, for example having to wait for a new consultant appointment each time someone is posted to a new area. Veterans may also be entitled to priority treatment for some conditions. Please help us to help you by letting us know if you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran/service personnel.