Kidderminster Medical Centre
We are a Military Veteran Friendly Practice
We are pleased to be able to inform our patients that we are now an Accredited Armed Forces Veteran Friendly GP Practice. This is a great honour for us and we are thrilled to be able to offer our Military Veterans and their families added support.
Dr Emma Cull is our Lead GP and Amanda Williams, Site Manager is the non clinical lead and has experienced life as a member of the Military family and also working with Veterans at The Royal Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot. We also have a team of staff here at the practice who work with the wider KMC team to ensure all staff are aware of the health needs and requirements of our military families. Again the team have extensive personal experience of either life as or life with a member of the armed services.
What is a Military Veteran?
A veteran is anyone who has served for one day or more in the Armed Forces, this can be regular or reserve – a more common title is ex service personnel. We understand that some of our patients will not want to be
associated with the term “Veteran”, especially amongst the younger population, who might prefer to be called “ex military” or indeed would rather not have recognition at all for their time spent in the Armed Forces.
Whilst the majority of health needs are the same for all our patient groups, there are also significant differences; particularly in relation to conditions that are attributable to service life and the impact of this on the family. These differences are reflected in the way in which we are able to deliver certain types of healthcare to our veterans and their families.
What is the Armed Forces Covenant?
The NHS has a duty to deliver on a number of health commitments as set out goals as follows:
- The Armed Forces community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area in which they live.
- Family members should retain their place on any NHS waiting list if moved around the UK due to service postings.
- Veterans should receive priority treatment for a condition which directly relates to their service, subject of course to clinical need.
- Those who are injured in service should be cared for in a way that reflects the nations moral obligation to them, by a healthcare professional who has an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.
These goals are reflected in principle 4 of the NHS Constitution which states that
“the NHS will ensure that in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, those in the Armed Forces, Reservists, their families and Veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the area in which they reside”
The convenant is an important aspect of our approach to care, especially as the Armed Forces community can be at a disadvantage due to mobility and frequent moves.
What Dedicated NHS services and support are available to veterans?
Veterans’ Mental Health, Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)
The TILS is for both serving personnel approaching discharge from the Armed Forces and veterans with mental health difficulties. The service provides a range of treatment, from recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. Help may also be provided with housing, employment, alcohol misuse and social support.
The service comprises three elements:
- Transition: service for those in transition from the Armed Forces For those due to leave the Armed Forces, the TILS will work with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to offer individuals mental health support through their transition period and beyond.
- Intervention: service for veterans with complex presentation Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will have an assessment within two weeks of a receipt of referral. If their needs are identified as suitable for treatment within the TILS, the service will aim to see them for their first appointment two weeks after this. They will be supported by a military aware team who will develop a personalised care plan with the individual.
- Liaison: general service for veterans Patients who do not have complex presentations, yet would benefit from NHS care, will be referred into local mainstream NHS mental health services where they will receive treatment and support. This could include talking therapies or treatment for other conditions, such as eating disorders or psychosis.
Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
The CTS is for ex-forces who have military related complex mental health difficulties that have not improved with previous treatment. The service provides intensive care and treatment that may include (but is not limited to) support for drug and alcohol misuse, physical health, employment, housing, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma focused therapies.
Referral to both of these services is via the TILS. Individuals can self-refer or ask their GP or a military charity to refer them. Contact details are as follow:
- Midlands or East of England, call 0300 323 0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans Trauma Network (VTN)
The VTN is the first NHS pathway for veterans’ physical health, providing care and treatment to those with a service-attributable healthcare problem. Located in ten major trauma centres (Plymouth, Oxford, London (three centres), Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Middlesbrough) across England, the VTN works closely with Defence Medical Services, national centres of clinical expertise, the TILS and CTS, as well as military charities to provide a complete package of care. It is run largely by healthcare professionals who are either veterans or serving members of the Armed Forces. GPs can use a single national email to refer veterans to the service (england. email@example.com), where they will benefit from specialist care by military and civilian experts.
The Veterans’ Prosthetics Panel (VPP) was established in 2012 as a way of ensuring that veterans can access high quality prosthetics regardless of which Disablement Service Centre (DSC) they attend. This additional funding is available only to veterans who have lost a limb whilst in military service. A veteran who has left the Armed Forces, but whose limb loss is attributable to an injury sustained whilst in service, also qualifies. Veterans who lose limbs after they leave the military or suffer limb loss whilst in the military, but not in a service attributable incident, such as in a civilian road traffic accident, will continue to access services as usual through their local DSC.
The additional funding for veterans is for treatment that would not typically be provided by the NHS, for example higher specification prostheses than are normally available on the NHS. Funding is approved on a case by case basis, with DSCs making individual funding applications to the VPP, which clearly set out the requirement and the benefit that is expected if the request is supported. More information is available on the NHS webpage on services for veterans with physical injuries.
Eligible veterans are also able to access the Complex Prosthetics Assessment Clinic (CPAC), which is run by Defence Medical Rehabilitation services. CPAC supports veterans with particularly complex prosthetic socket needs who have previously been seen at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court.
Veterans personalised care programme for ex-forces with a long term physical, mental or neurological health condition or disability
NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with the Ministry of Defence, have published the Personalised care for veterans in England, a guide for clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, which sets out a personalised care approach for those veterans who have a long term physical, mental or neurological health condition or disability.
This guide is for those individuals and organisations who are leading or involved in supporting this patient group through the delivery of NHS Continuing Health Care or a jointly agreed care plan. A supporting patient leaflet is also available.
Eligible individuals will have a single personalised care plan for all their health and wellbeing needs that is developed with them and a range of organisations, including health and social care and military charities. This approach will give the individual more choice and control over how their care is planned and delivered, meaning they can choose how best to live their life and get the right care and support to make this happen. It will also take into account personal preferences that relate specifically to the individual’s military service. As part of this, they may get a personal budget to pay for some of the care and support they need, as well as more support in the community, such as emotional and practical support from people who have similar health conditions or disabilities. To apply, individuals should contact their local clinical commissioning group.
If you have any questions or would like to be more actively involved in support us and our veterans please get in touch with the practice to discuss further