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Better NHS healthcare for injured forces veterans

12 January 2010

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Injured military veterans will get better NHS care under plans unveiled by the government.

The move, which will also provide improved mental health services for troops who have seen action in Afghanistan, will see seriously injured personnel leaving the armed forces with a customised health plan.

Steps will also be taken to make sure GPs are aware of their patients’ military service. Health Minister Mike O’Brien said in a statement to Parliament he would “guarantee that all those seriously injured will receive an early and comprehensive assessment of their long-term needs”.

Under the plans, an NHS case manager will oversee “high quality care for life” for those in need of continuing support.

Mr O’Brien said the Department of Health was also “responding to concerns expressed about the impact of recent and current deployments on the mental health of those in and those leaving the armed forces”.

All mental health services will be expected to make special provision for veterans from 2011-12, he said.

Mr O’Brien added that where appropriate, all veterans who had lost a limb in service ould receive the same standard of prosthetic replacement from the NHS as would be available from Defence Medical Services.

The minister also said his department would work with the Ministry of Defence to improve the transfer of veterans’ medical records to the NHS after they leave the armed forces.

“This will facilitate GP awareness of the veteran status of new patients to ensure veterans receive their entitlement to priority treatment for any injuries or illness attributable to their time serving in the Armed Forces,” he said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010