Programme to help thousands of West Midlands veterans with mental health - The Evesham Observer

Programme to help thousands of West Midlands veterans with mental health

Evesham Editorial 25th Mar, 2024   0

A PROGRAMME has been launched to help thousands of military veterans silently struggling with their health in the West Midlands.

A survey of 5,000 veterans in England showed that 5 percent living in the West Midland have experienced a mental or physical health issue potentially related to their service and only 16 per cent have sought help from a health care professional.

The findings showed that 63 per cent would be more likely to seek help if they knew their GP practice was signed up to the Veteran Friendly Accreditation scheme.

Dr Jonathan Leach OBE, NHS England associate medical director for armed forces and veterans health and GP at Davenal House Surgery Bromsgrove, is backing the programme to encourage GP practices to become Veteran Friendly Accredited.

He said: “Not only does the Veteran Friendly Accreditation scheme support practice teams to deliver the best health outcomes for their veteran patients, but it also saves busy practice staff precious time by enabling them to more quickly and effectively identify, understand and support veterans – reducing the need for repeat appointments and shortening waiting times for diagnosis and treatments.”

Launched today (Monday March 25) by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in conjunction with NHS England and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA), the programme aims to improve veterans access to healthcare services.

Minister of state for veterans’ affairs, Johnny Mercer, said: “Providing veterans with access to the very best health care is a fundamental part of mine and this government’s ambition to make this the best country in the world to be a veteran.

“With this new research showing that veterans are more likely to seek help if they know their practice is Veteran Friendly Accredited, I’m urging those practices that are yet to sign up to take the quick and simple step to ensure they’re able to deliver the best possible care and support to the veteran community.”

Veterans can find out more about the support they can receive by telling their GP practice they have served and by visiting

Practice teams can learn more and get their practice Veteran Friendly Accredited by visiting


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