Veterans Healthcare Report Published

A report has been published into the results of a major survey of the healthcare needs of nearly 1,800 ex-Servicemen and women across the Portsmouth area.

Some 1,780 people completed the questionnaire which was commissioned by NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and carried out by the Old Portsmouth-based Company of Makers in 2015/16.

A summary report is now available here.

Key themes from the report were publically aired for the first time at an event at the Mountbatten Centre yesterday (Nov 30) with some veterans who completed the survey and representatives military welfare organisations so they could hear proposals for the ‘next steps’ to try to improve health services for ex-Service personnel.

Dr Elizabeth Fellows, who chairs the Governing Board, is the CCG’s veterans lead and chaired the event. She said: “We want to give veterans a voice to influence and shape the healthcare services that they receive.

“With Portsmouth being the home of the Royal Navy, it is only right that our CCG takes a lead on this – though I am delighted that four in ten people who took part from the survey were ex-Army and RAF so there was excellent across the board representation.

“Former members of the Armed Services community, including their relatives, can have particular issues as a result of service to their country – which we as GPs need to know about. But this is not about giving them priority, it is much more about ensuring that we signpost them to services that can best help them, which means they get a better service and the wider health and social care system makes the best use of its available resources.

“Not all the issues and themes that came out of the report are within the CCG’s ‘gift’ to do something about, but where we can take direct action to improve services we will.”

The CCG is to try to establish a city-wide Veterans’ Patient Participation Group to give ex-Servicemen and women a platform for their views. Company of Makers hope to be involved in a marketing campaign to encourage more ex-soldiers, airmen and sailors to register as veterans.

Dr Fellows said: “Patients enrolling at GP practices now are routinely asked if they are veterans, but I have no doubt that many people who have been with the same doctor for years are not recorded as veterans, and this is information we very much want and need to know.

“But we have already delivered on one of the recommendations – by staging the healthcare event to feedback first to the people who matter most here, the veteran community.”

Other recommendations from the report relate to military resettlement procedures, training staff at GP practices, veterans managing their healthcare and mental health support.”

The key themes were the topic of round-table workshop sessions for the 70 people who attended the veterans’ healthcare event.

Note to the media: For information about the survey, contact either Steve Bomford or Rachel Owen from Company of Makers at by phone 07973 620 968.