Why can’t I just book an appointment to see my GP?

Why can’t I just book an appointment to see my GP? This and its related question, “Why can’t I see a GP”, are clearly at the forefront of all of our minds at present and are often in the Press. We’d like to help address these valid questions by sharing some information and insights into

Contact us online. Get help from your GP with our online consultation service.

Veteran Information

A veteran is someone who has served in the British Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) for at least one day. Veterans also include any member of the Merchant Marine who has served in a war zone. 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. As a Veteran-friendly accredited GP practice, we are committed to supporting you and your health.

Veteran Support Services

With over 58,000 military veterans in Dorset, Dorset Council is reminding current and former members of the Armed Forces, and their families, that support is available for them. Whether they served in Afghanistan, or in other conflicts, news of the withdrawal of military forces has significantly impacted on the wellbeing of many veterans and their families. Through its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and links to health and wellbeing services including charities, Dorset Council is encouraging anyone affected to reach out for support.

New online Armed Forces compensation service goes live

Veterans UK, part of Defence Business Services (DBS), has launched a new online claim service to help people to access injury and illness compensation more easily. Veterans UK is responsible for administering compensation and pensions schemes for both serving personnel, veterans and their families. The new service is part of their commitment to modernising the services that they provide to the defence community and is the first step in the digitalisation of DBS’s Compensation Schemes. Veterans UK are continuing to modernise more of their services. Further information is available via the Veterans UK GOV.UK page. You can also follow Veterans UK on Facebook @modveteransuk and Twitter @VeteransUK_MOD.

UK veterans get their say

On 10 November 2022 the government launched the first ever UK-wide survey, for veterans and their families.

Over the next 12 weeks, veterans across the country are able to complete the survey to shape the future of veteran services. Funded and commissioned by the Office of Veterans’ Affairs, this is the first ever exercise to collect feedback from the entire veterans community across the UK.

This survey, in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), will ask veterans to describe their experiences of being a veteran and of using government services. This will ensure that the government can adapt services to better meet the needs of veterans and their families.

Organisation’s Offering Support

The following organisations can offer support. All calls are free from a landline unless stated otherwise. At immediate risk of danger to life always call 999.

Local Support

A local veteran founded the Armed Forces & Veterans Drop in Centre at St Mary’s Longfleet Church Centre, Kingston Road, Poole BH15 2LP.

They meet on the 1st Saturday of each month (check for which Saturday January). They have bacon/egg rolls and plenty of banter. Including all services and cap badges.

Ring 01202 253527 and ask for Di from the Armed Forces & Veterans drop in.

Op Courage

Op Courage provides a service to ensure members of the Armed Forces community are supported to access services that provide health and social care support.

Dorset Healthcare Armed Forces

Helping people in the Armed Forces Community access health and social care services across Dorset.

Veterans’ Gateway

Veterans’ Gateway is a 24/7 first point of contact for all welfare needs. From healthcare and housing to employability, and more. Call 0808 802 1212

Combat Stress

Combat Stress offers specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues related to their military service. Call 0800 138 1619

Mind

Mind offers mental health support and information call 0300 123 3393 or text ‘Shout’ to 85258 (calls cost 3p to 40p per minute)

Citizens Advice

Free, confidential and impartial advice to help people with issues such as debt, housing, families and relationships. Call 0800 144 8848

PTSD Resolution

PTSD Resolution offer free, rapid and effective therapeutic support to Veterans, Reservists and family members. Call 0300 302 0551 (calls cost 3p to 40p per minute)

Samaritans

Call the Samaritans for 24-hour support, seven days a week on 116 123.

SSAFA - The Armed Forces Charity

Welfare, health and support services, for the UK military’s serving personnel, veterans, and their families, call SSAFA on 0800 260 6767

Veterans UK

Part of the Ministry of Defence and offers free support for veterans and their families, call 0808 1914 218

Urgent Help for Veterans

Signposts to organisations which can provide urgent help

Age UK NSW Dorset

Call Age UK North South West Dorset 01305 269444 for information and advice and a range of support services for the over 55s

Royal British Legion

National Helpline: 0808 802 8080

Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk

Dorset Armed Forces Covenant Programme

The Dorset Armed Forces Covenant Programme is a partnership between Dorset Council, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset HealthCare University Foundation Trust, NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group,  the Office of the Police, Crime Commissioner Dorset, Bournemouth University, Wessex RFCA, Royal British Legion, SSAFA, other relevant charities, the Military Bases, businesses, communities and individuals in a pledge of support between local residents and the Armed Forces Community in Dorset.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/your-community/armed-forces-covenant/the-armed-forces-covenant.aspx

King Edward VII’S Hospital – Military Grants, Subsidy & Pain Management Programme

Are you currently serving in the Military, a Veteran or a Military Spouse or Widow? You may benefit from support services from King Edward VII’s Hospital.

Military Grants – Up to 100% means-tested grants for eligible patients on NHS waiting lists for diagnostics or surgery.

Pain Management Programme – This programme is a free ten-day virtual programme run over nine months and delivered virtually on Zoom.

To apply go to https://www.kingedwardvii.co.uk/the-charity and complete the relevant online form or call 020 7467 3221. The hospital will then write to the GP for confirmation. For any grants, your application will then be reviewed by the committee and a decision will be made within 3 months of submission.

20% Military Discount – also available on hospital services.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply please visit the hospital’s website-

https://www.kingedwardvii.co.uk/the-charity

#VeteranFriendlyGP

Veterans with Dementia
Female Veterans Transformation Programme

Over the last few years lots of work and academic research has been conducted on the challenges female veterans face as a result of their time in the Armed Forces. However, we recognise that we need to now use this research as a basis to take action and make improvements so women get the right support at the right time and in a way that matters to them.

Our new website is a one stop shop for finding out about our programme and how you can get involved (www.fvtp.org.uk) including signing up to our newsletter. We pulled together the key themes of the research in an Evidence Review and Statement of Need, available on the website, but now want to hear from you to help us codesign a toolkit to support service improvement across the sector

  • What are the solutions?
  • How do we improve things?
  • What is currently working well?
  • What needs to change and how does it need to change?

You are the experts, and we need to hear your views and opinions.

We also need to make sure that these improvements are across ALL services, not just veteran specific organisations. How do we raise awareness and educate professionals such as GPs, social services, hospital staff, leisure services, employers etc?

But this isn’t about focusing on what’s wrong, we also want to celebrate what is currently working well and where good practice exists. How can we share this and demonstrate how to do things well?

We are therefore asking female veterans and those services that support them to complete a questionnaire to let us know ‘what good looks like’. It’s only four questions, so won’t take long to complete and is anonymous. You can access the questionnaire via this link https://www.fvtp.org.uk/get-involved or if you want a copy posted please just contact the WRAC Association main office. You can also register to attend one of our focus groups later in the year if you’d like to be involved.

We know that you have probably been asked for your opinions and views A LOT and may feel like there is ‘no point’ or ‘no-one ever listens’, so we are committed to letting you know what we did with your feedback. We will produce a ‘you said…..we did’ response to the co-production which will eventually be available on our website for you to see and to check we listened.

Your opinion matters so any information you can provide will go a long way to helping other female veterans in the future.