Armed Forces Veteran Friendly Accredited GP Practice

proud to support our armed forces logo

We are a Veteran Friendly GP Practice

This means that, as part of the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, we have a dedicated Clinician who has a specialist knowledge of military related health conditions and veteran specific health services. This is important in helping ex-forces to get the best care and treatment.

If you are ex-forces, please let your GP know to help ensure you are getting the best possible care.

What is a veteran?

A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether as a regular or reservist. It means the same as ‘ex service personnel’ or ‘ex-forces’, although not all veterans know the term or choose to associate with the term ‘veteran’. Younger veterans might refer to themselves as ‘ex-forces’, in the belief that a veteran is someone who fought in the First / Second World War.

What is the advice on veteran’s health?

Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the associated impact for individuals and their families. These differences can be reflected in the way in which healthcare is delivered, the range and types of some specific services provided and the long-term impact upon patients and families.

Please also see the Armed Forces healthcare pages on the NHS website


What happens if a parent/carer who is still serving in the military wants to register their child with my practice?

Serving personnel are registered with Defence Medical Services at a Military Medical Centre. In a situation where both parents are serving, also known as dual-serving families, their children need to be registered at an NHS practice or a Military Families GP Practice, where such facilities exist. Parents being registered at a different GP practice to their children is not usual practice, but a necessity frequently encountered by dual-serving families.


What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The NHS has a duty to deliver on a number of health commitments, which are set out in the Armed Forces Covenant 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 they live.
• Family members should retain their place on any NHS waiting list, if moved around the UK due to the service person being posted.
• Veterans should receive priority treatment for a condition which relates to their service, subject to clinical need.
• Those injured in service should be cared for in a way that reflects the nation’s moral obligation to them, by healthcare professionals who have an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.
This is reflected in principle four of the NHS Constitution, which states ‘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 they reside’.
The Covenant is an important aspect of our approach to care, especially as the Armed Forces community can be at a disadvantage due to their mobility and frequent moves.

Kearsley Medical Centre has adopted this Patient Charter.

armed forces patient charter
armed forces logo and accreditation

What dedicated NHS services and support are available to veterans?
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
In March 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced the new name for its veterans mental health services; Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. Op COURAGE provides specialist care and support for Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families who can self refer or ask a GP, charity or someone else to refer them.
For further information on Op COURAGE: visit Op COURAGE

Veterans Trauma Network (VTN): The VTN is the first NHS veterans’ physical health care pathway, providing care and treatment to those with a service-attributable healthcare problem.

Prosthetics: 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. Visit Veteran's prosthetics

The Veterans Covenant Health Alliance (VCHA): The VCHA aims to improve NHS care for the Armed Forces community by supporting trusts, health boards and other providers to identify, develop and showcase the best standards of care.  Visit Veteran Aware

Other help includes:

Help for Heroes: Help for Heroes provides direct, practical support for wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans and their loved ones from any conflict. Help for Heroes

Combat Stress: Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. It provides free specialised clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health conditions. Combat Stress

Blesma: Blesma supports limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Blesma