Health and Wellbeing Progress – Recommendation 16

Identifying veterans

The Armed Forces and Veterans Joint Health Group should oversee work to increase the number of veterans declaring their previous service to GPs and others in the system. This will likely involve NHS(S), MOD and veterans organisations.

2019 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented

2019 update provided by the Scottish Government:

Commissioning for adult health and care services is undertaken by Integration Joint Boards (IJBs).  They have a duty to consult their constituent populations and service planning is undertaken based on a population needs assessment.  These will include needs of specific population groups such as veterans where they can be identifiable in health statistics or via the stakeholder engagement process.  National Records of Scotland propose including a question in the 2021 census to provide robust statistics on the size, location and profile of our veterans population in Scotland. The final decision will be made by the Scottish Parliament via a draft Order, to be laid in early 2020.  We will continue to work with NHS Champions to better understand and overcome the barriers to veterans identifying themselves.

2020 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2020 update provided by the Scottish Government:

It is now a mandatory element of training for new GPs to undertake training and demonstrate awareness of veterans and their specific issues.  This should mean that GPs are better prepared to initiate a conversation with patients on their Armed Forces career history and any medical need resulting from that.  In addition, we are working with Scottish Government primary care policy leads and NHS Scotland to trigger a “yellow flag” on the declared veteran status on a patient’s medical record, so that this is immediately visible to the GP during each consultation. The SVCN has started collaborative work with Public Health Scotland (PHS) and MoD on sources of data regarding veterans in Scotland. A working group within the Network on data and information in the development stages and this group is intended to drive forward work on this.

2021 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2021 update provided by the Scottish Government:

A sub-group – featuring representation from the NHS, Scottish Government, Royal College of General Practitioners, and Veterans Scotland – has been established to take forward our 2021-22 priority on Veteran GP Accreditation. The accreditation will seek to further embed good practice, raise awareness of veterans’ issues, and promote learning across GP practices. Promoting best practice on processes to identify veterans within GP practices and apply appropriate clinical coding is central to this work. This will align well with the NHS Fife Pilot Project, centred on improving methods of identifying and clinical coding veterans.

2022 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2022 update provided by the Scottish Government:

We are progressing with the project to raise awareness of veterans issues with General Practices. We are developing training aimed at administrative staff, practice managers and clinicians to reflect the multidisciplinary team approach that is commonly found in General Practices. This training will be piloted in three health board areas, allowing for process improvements to be made prior to a wider roll out.

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