We are very proud to support our veterans as part of the Armed Forces veteran friendly accredited GP practice programme.
Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes differences, particularly in relation to conditions linked to service life and the impact upon 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.
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.
What is a veteran?
A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve. Veterans also include any member of the Merchant Marine who has served in a war zone. This includes crew from convoys in World War 2 and more recently in the Falklands conflict and Gulf Wars. It means the same as ‘ex service personnel’ or ‘ex-forces’, although not all veterans know, choose or want to associate with the term ‘veteran’. This is particularly the case amongst younger veterans who often refer to themselves as ‘ex-forces’, due to the common belief that a veteran is someone who fought in the First / Second World War.
About 18,000 service people move back into civilian life every year and whilst most of these individuals have similar levels of health to the general population, around 2,000 leave on medical grounds. The top reasons for medical discharge are for issues relating to back, knees, mental health and hearing.
If you are a veteran, ex service personnel or ex-forces, please let your GP or any member of the Sunnyside Team know to help ensure you are getting the best possible care.