The Royal College of General Practitioners is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to accredit GP practices as ‘veteran friendly’, one of several initiatives being undertaken to improve NHS care for the Armed Forces Community…

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).

Being accredited 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, the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service 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.

A list of accredited veteran friendly practices is available here.

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