Supporting access to services for military veterans

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool completed engagement activities between September and December 2017. Healthwatch endeavoured to engage with military veterans, their families and staff/volunteers who support veterans in a professional capacity. The summary of findings informed the majority of military veterans told Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool that they are not sure whether their GP knows they are a military veteran, or that their GP definitely does not know they are a military veteran (67%). Of the remaining 33% of military veterans who are registered as such, all made the decision to register themselves without prompt from surgery staff. Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool also spoke to relatives and family members as well as those who support military veterans in a professional capacity. 86% of those who support military veterans said they felt it is important that military veterans are registered as such with their GP. A small percentage (14%) said they were unsure, however, nobody said they felt it wasn’t important at all. The majority of military veterans told Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool that their GP does not or are unsure whether their GP has access to their medical records (60%). A further 15% told us that their GP only has partial access, which means a quarter of the military veterans we spoke to know that their GP has full access to their medical records. Only 6% of the military veterans Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool spoke to were confident that their GP is knowledgeable about military veteran specific services in their area. Of the 46% who said they were unsure, many told us this is because they felt they had never had to ask. Nearly half of people who support military veterans said they did not feel that GPs are knowledgeable about military veteran specific services in their area. The results show that an average of 13% of military veterans we spoke to are accessing military veteran specific services. Most notably, over half (64%) of military veterans had never heard of or accessed the NHS Military Veterans Service. The service that is most accessed by the military veterans we spoke to is the local Veterans Breakfast Clubs (41%). The two most commonly heard of services were SSAFA (82%) and the Royal British Legion (70%). Just over half of the military veterans Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Blackpool spoke to (51%) told us they felt there are barriers for military veterans accessing health care services. The most commonly mentioned barrier was lack of communication and awareness of military veteran specific issues (33%).

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General details

Report title 
Supporting access to services for military veterans
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Blackpool
Healthwatch Lancashire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Health protection
Information providing
Quality of care
Support
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7156

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
63
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Negative

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.