The Royal College of General Practitioners, with NHS England and NHS Improvement, have developed the ‘veteran friendly’ accreditation to help GP practices meet the healthcare needs of ex-forces patients…

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for the commissioning of health services for veterans, reservists and service families registered with NHS GPs in their area. Despite this, there is evidence that GPs are unsure of how many of these individuals are registered with their practice and more guidance is needed on how to meet the health needs of these patient groups.

Furthermore, there is a need to improve the identification and coding of these individuals, with a linked aim of further increasing the understanding of their health requirements and improving their care and treatment.

To help address this issue, the Royal College of General Practitioners is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to accredit GP practices as ‘veteran friendly’. This is just one of several initiatives being undertaken to improve NHS care for the Armed Forces community (which includes serving personnel, regulars and reserves, veterans and their families).

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) website mentions the programme in their ‘Tips and myth busters for GP practices’ where the CQC’s Senior National GP Advisor shares agreed guidance to best practice for surgeries to consider. Nigel’s surgery 93: Caring for veterans and their families explains that members of the armed forces community are part of the population group ‘people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable’ checked by CQC, and the veteran friendly accreditation is listed as a resource to support GP practices in care for veterans and their families.

Full list of accredited veteran friendly practices [Excel]

A map of accredited practices can be see on Google Maps

Ask your GP if your practice is accredited, and if they are not please encourage them to get in touch with RCGP via veterans@rcgp.org.uk. Please do spread the word among the veterans you know so that together we can make ever more GPs aware of this free resource. More information on RCGP website.

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