It is important to register with a GP, rather than wait until you need treatment.
If you have recently left the forces, it is important to give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records. This will help to make sure, your military health record transfers to your NHS health record, it gives your GP information on your health and ensures that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.
Regardless of when you left the military, tell your GP that you’ve served in the armed forces. This will help your GP to better understand any military related health conditions that you may have and ensure that you are referred, when appropriate, to dedicated services for veterans. This includes the specialist mental and physical health services, Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing service.
When using these services, you will be able to speak to people who:
- understand the Armed Forces and military life
- are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families.
- will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment
- work closely with a range of organisations and charities, including military charities, to support your wider health and wellbeing needs
With your agreement, it can sometimes be helpful for your doctor to refer you to Armed Forces charities, such as SSAFA, the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress or Help for Heroes. They can often offer significant help and support, even if they do not all deliver healthcare.
You may be worried about sharing information about your time in the Armed Forces. Please note that the NHS is bound by a confidentiality code of practice to ensure GPs, nurses and other people working within the NHS deliver a confidential service bound by law.
For more information:
- Speak to your GP practice using the Admin option on our eConsult service
- Visit the NHS website
- Tweet @NHSArmedForces
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