Veterans and the NHS

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by DarkNinja, Jun 10, 2013.

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  1. While waiting forever in my Local Health Centre I was reading the posters when I saw one about veterans. It basically siad that if you are a veteran and inform your GP, you can got to the top of the list for treatment by the NHS. Has anybody tried this? Or is it just flannel?
  2. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Scottish Government Guidence

    This guidance updates and extends existing guidance on
    Priority Treatment for War Pensioners - HDL (2006) 16. From
    29 February 2008, all veterans (including those who have served as
    reservists) should receive priority access to NHS primary, secondary
    and tertiary care for any conditions which are likely to be related to
    their service, even when they are not in receipt of a war pension,
    subject to the clinical needs of all patients.
  3. Don't know about now, but when i tried that back in the late 80's, my consultant said 'well i aint giving you any priority'.
    Never needed to ask since but if they do, then times have changed.
  4. You should have told him you were a cold war warrior and not only deserving of 'speshul' treatment but a national defence medal as well.
    • Like Like x 6
  5. As he had a beard and wore sandals, i think he was a tree hugger anyway.
  6. Or ex Them?
  7. I asked my GP about this about a year ago now, her response was that it was fine in principle but probably wouldn't be making any practical difference - resources are still going to be allocated on the basis of clinical need which is supposedly blind to preferential treatment. She said the best I could hope for would be to be put nearer the top of a cancellation list. In the end it didn't matter as I'd got cover from Benenden from a short contract in the civil service.
  8. "Conditions likely to be related to their service." Turning up with a touch of flu does not count nor even serious complaints like cancer cos you smoked too much.
    When this first came out (about 3 or 4 years ago ISTR) our practice was told by the local PCT that this would have to be approved by them for a decision on whether it was actually service related. This at the same time we were told to give "travellers" priority treatment as it was "important" they got to be first in the queue before they moved on again (and, boy, did they know their rights in all this when they came in to the surgery). The government (NHS) guidelines on this state that all servicemen get a summary of their medical records on retirement which should be handed to their GP. Never saw one and applying for an ex-serviceman's records always seemed to take many months before eventually getting a one or two page summary. Never any indication of vaccination records or anything like that.
    Mental health problems for ex-servicemen in operations since 1982 do, however, get priority treatment. We had three patients (one from the FI conflict, 1 from Bosnia and 1 from GW1) with mental health problems and they were all fast tracked under the scheme so that bit seemed to work out well.
  9. I was told by my GP i was getting priority when he diagnosed me with PTSD 4 yrs ago....& i did get excellent service offered to me. I had no complaints. If it is service related it does work.
  10. I got fast tracked last year for my knee op, seemed to work well.
  11. Working in a tertiary hospital, the main problem we have in being able to offer this priority treatment is being notified that the patient is an ex-serviceman. There is a box to tick on the registration screen but then it doesn't flag up on any subsequent action in the patient's records. With the nature of our service (neurology and neurosurgery) I would expect there to be quite a few ex-service personnel being treated but I only know of one and that's because they had to scream about it as they kept being "lost in the system".

    As a guide, waiting times for first appointments and initial treatments are pretty good across the board, whether you are prioritized or not. The government has set time limits (18 weeks from referral to treatment, 24 weeks for the Welsh) and treatment centres get really obsessive about meeting those targets (financial penalties if they don't). The problems come when you need follow-up care as there are no targets for that and they get pushed to one side to treat the patients still on a time limit. THAT is when you may feel the need to shout about being an ex-serviceman/woman.
  12. Interesting and glad it worked as described for you. Without giving too much PERSEC away, what NHS trust did you come under?

    I had the opposite experience and it was only the persistence of a very good ex-RN doc that got anything NHS was provided. The excuse was that the mental health provision was massively oversubscribed. Fortunately, others stood up to the plate when needed.
  13. I had to wait 3 months for a consultant appointment for a condition listed in my med discharge, the fat civi a few doors up got an appointment 2 months earlier for the same condition, I rather suspect the gp's prioritise based on if they support the forces or not, I switched gp's and got a far better response time (1 week wait time) when it flared up again, the clinical need priority system is more about who will be getting back to work faster once there sorted out than who is in the most pain when your talking about non life threatening problems

    the principle of veterans getting priority is fine and dandy but a lot of it does depend on the gp's and consultants view point, I mean some of the best prefer to help ex cons before they treat current or ex forces (hence the wait times) but that's there right and so long as there not allowed to push past the standard wait time to leave the old n bold in the crapper for longer than they do the average civi that's fine (as in they shouldn't get sacked or such) but the actual program itself is rather like the 111 phone system, its great in principle and in some areas it works well but in general its a bit of a balls up
  14. Doesn't the final phrase give the NHS a all encompassing get-out clause?
  15. Not quite all encompassing, if someone has a greater clinical need, they get priority. Where two people have the same clinical need, a Veteran should get priority. Whether they do is another matter.