NHS for Veterans

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by AFNLondon, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. Hi,

    My name’s Dom, I work for NHS London, the body that oversees the NHS in greater London. We’re running a project to assess what the armed forces community (including veterans and families) thinks about NHS services for veterans in London, from Primary care and dentistry to mental health. We’ve got a few ideas but there’s no point us coming up with something without talking to you all first. So does anyone have any thoughts about veterans and the NHS in London, or ideas about how we can make things better for the armed forces community?
  2. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Well as regards NHS dentistry, up here in the Highlands we have some long waiting list to get seen by an NHS Highland dentist.

    However Forces families are one of the groups that can get "fast tracked" straight into registration.
  3. You're not kidding about the lack of NHS dentists who are accepting patients in the Highlands; otherwise the main hospital Raigmore, do a pretty good job compared to the horror stories we hear about the NHS down south.

    Another Highlander.
  4. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Depending on where in the Highlands you are, I may be able to give you some things to say to the NHS Helpline to get you seen quicker!

    If you're still having difficulties just send a PM.
  5. Given he is from some London PCT, I doubt if they are remotely interested in the Highlands or anywhere else for that matter. No doubt another tick box exercise to be shown to be taking an interest.
    Try asking the DEfence Medical Services in Whitehall.
  6. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Well given that he asked "So does anyone have any thoughts about veterans and the NHS in London, or ideas about how we can make things better for the armed forces community?"
    I thought a little bit of what happens elsewhere might be relevant.
    For the purpose of NHs work called benchmarking. IE what does everybody else do.
  7. It's always useful to know what's going on in other regions; access to dentistry always crops up as a key concern for military families. Although some of our evidence suggests that dentists are available, but getting the right information about availability is harder than it should be. Of course London's a slightly different animal than the highlands!
  8. What is the capability and funding of prosthetics? Currently a great cause of concern is the aftercare of veterans once they have left the service.
  9. The NHS in England is committed to matching the quality of prosthetics provided by the DMS; that's not to say this isn't a big challenge, most NHS organisations provide prosthetics to elderly, unfit patients, and aren't used or set up to cater to the young, fit patients from the military. The funding isn't the problem, but getting the message to front line clinicians about what they should be doing for veterans takes a while to filter through.

    Again in London we're not sure how many veterans this affects, and haven't received any complaints related to prosthetic provision.
  10. Not from London, but my view of the NHS is pretty dim, after waiting 2 years for a reversal of a procedure that eventually the NHS coughed up perhaps wasn't the best way forward, they've now knocked an operation that was meant to happen in march back 6 months because of swine Flu, I'm sick to ******* death of the NHS, bunch of *****, the lot of you.
  11. The current agreement is to maintain the prosthetics, there is nothing in place to say they will be replaced after their 5-7 year life span. The message to front line clinicians is simple in thi case - soldier has a prosthetic that requires replacing, there is nothing to think about the effort has already been done by Headley Court.
  12. My understanding is that we're committed to maintaining AND replacing prosthetics to at least the same quality as DMS ones. I think (not an expert) that certain prostheses (C-legs) require the patient to be very physically fit, so after seven years a patient may not be able to maintain fitness to use a replacement C-Leg so they get then next best thing; again this replacement should be as good as anything DMS provides.

    Agree that the message is simple, but persuading clinicians to take it on board isn't always easy.
  13. 4th biggest disorganisation in the world ...... I don't even know who my boss is
  14. Given the recent White paper and the demand for cheaper alternatives, I would not expect the DMS standard to even enter the equation. With the Salami slicing of the NHS prior to it's privatisation, the post code lottery will soon (2013) feature in what you can or can't have.
    It's all about bean counting these days. Just watch for the ward closures and new independent treatment centres hiking off all the juicy work and leaving the more costly proceedures in NHS hands
  15. There is no next best thing to a C-Leg, I asked this very question of the leading prosthestist he replied that for a double, above knee amputee it is a c-leg or wheelchair.

    You do have to be fit for a C-leg, but that is fit as in civvy terms, (I.E not a 95yo granny or 30 stone lardy) and not military terms (I.E tabbing round Afghan with a 50kg load.

    A C-Leg costs £17,500 in component form a civvy company will charge in the region of £47k per leg for fitting, often more than 1 pair will be required.

    The budget of one PCT prosthetics dept was £2.1m for 1800 patients. Headley has spent over £400m on approx 250 patients in the last couple of years. This does not include facilities maintenance and HR requirements.

    How is a PCT going to explain to a patient who lost his legs in a traffic accident that he's only entitled to douglas bader specials whilst the bloke opposite is trying on the latest iron man upgrade? I thought treatment was all about clinical need.