Wells MP James Heappey is encouraging all GP practices in his constituency to become veteran friendly following the announcement of NHS England’s new national scheme, which was revealed this week.
The Military Veteran Aware Accreditation has been adopted by NHS England and the Royal College of GPs.
It aims to improve the treatment of veterans, thereby ensuring they are able to access dedicated care should they require it.
Mr Heappey – a former Army Major – has said this is ‘excellent news’ and has written to each of the medical practices in the Wells constituency to encourage them to sign up.
He said: “I think this is excellent news and I want to encourage practices in Somerset to achieve the accreditation.
“From my work with local veterans groups, I know there are plenty of ex-service personnel in our area who are struggling – particularly with their mental health – and that is often exacerbated when they feel the agencies that are trying to help them, do not understand what they have been through.
“I believe this will mean a great deal to an important part of our community and I look forward to working with the medical practices, should they need my assistance.”
In order for GP practices to become accredited, they must appoint a lead for veterans’ issues within the surgery, identify veterans on their computer system as well as attend dedicated training to increase understanding of veterans’ health needs.