Billinghay Medical Practice

39 High Street, Billinghay, Lincoln, LN4 4AU

Telephone: 01526 860490

licb.c83030@nhs.net

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Veteran Friendly Practice

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Billinghay Medical Practice are delighted to announce that we are officially accredited as an Armed Forces Veteran Friendly GP Practice!

What does this mean for our patients?

Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the associated impact for individuals and their families. These differences can be reflected in the way in which healthcare is delivered, the range and types of some specific services provided and the long-term impact upon patients and families.

Being accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners means that our practice can better identify and treat veterans, refer them, where appropriate, to dedicated NHS services, (such as the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison service (TILS), the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veterans Trauma Network.

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The NHS has a duty to deliver on several health commitments, which are set out in the Armed Forces Covenant;

  • The Armed Forces community should encompass the same standard of, and access to healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area they live.
  • Family members should retain their place on any NHS waiting list, if moved around the UK due to the service person being posted.
  • Veterans should receive priority treatment for a condition which relates to their service, subject to clinical need.
  • Those injured in service should be cared for in a way that reflects the nation’s moral obligation to them, by healthcare professionals who understand the Armed Forces culture.
  • It also means that the NHS is better able to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, which declares that the Armed Forces community, including veterans, should face no disadvantage in accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions, subject to clinical need.

What is a Veteran?

A veteran is someone who has served in the British Armed Forces, (Regular or Reserve) for at least one day. Veterans also include any member of the Merchant Marine who has served in a war zone. This includes crew from convoys in World War 2 and more recently in the Falklands conflict and Gulf Wars.

About 18,000 service people move back into civilian life every year and whilst most of these individuals have similar levels of health to the general population, around 2,000 leave on medical grounds. The top reasons for medical discharge are for issues relating to back, knees, mental health and hearing.

If you are a veteran, it is important that you do let us know!

 

NHS services and support available to veterans?

OP COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service comprising:

  • Veteran’s Transition, Intervention & Liaison Service (TILS)
  • Veteran’s Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
  • High Intensity Service (HIS) – crisis in need of urgent care

Mental health problems are common and can affect anyone, including veterans, serving personnel, reservists and their families. It’s important to get help and support if you or someone you know has mental health problems.

Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.

How Op COURAGE can help

Op COURAGE can help you and your family with a range of support and treatment, including:

  • Helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS).
  • Helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems, as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma.
  • Providing support and treatment for substance misuse and addictions.
  • Helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS talking therapies service and eating disorder services.
  • Liaising with charities and local organisations to support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as help with housing, relationships, finances and employment.
  • Supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping them to access local services.

Who will I speak to?

Op COURAGE is an NHS service supported by trained professionals who are from, or have experience of working with, the Armed Forces community.

This service can help if you’re finding life difficult after leaving the military. Working together with Armed Forces charities, Op COURAGE will help you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment for your specific needs.

Who Op COURAGE can help?

To receive help and support from Op COURAGE, you must:

  • be a resident in England and have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
  • be registered with a GP surgery in England, or be willing and eligible to
  • provide your military service number

It does not matter how long ago you left the armed forces or how long you served for. You can contact Op COURAGE even if you left many years ago. You can also contact Op COURAGE if you’re still serving but have a discharge date.

You can contact the service in many ways, including:

  • directly getting in touch yourself, or through a family member or friend
  • asking a GP or other healthcare representative to refer you
  • asking a charity to refer you

The service will arrange for you to have an assessment, to make sure you get the right care and support.

It’s important to contact the Op COURAGE service for your local area. This allows them to give you the best support they can provide.

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-community/mental-health/veterans-reservists/

Veterans Trauma Network

The Veterans Trauma Network (VTN) is an NHS service that provides specialist care and treatment to veterans who have physical health problems as a result of their time in the armed forces.

The VTN does not provide veteran mental health support, but works alongside Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

How the Veterans Trauma Network can support you:

The VTN works closely with many organisations, including:

  • GP surgeries
  • specialist NHS services
  • military and non-military charities

The VTN can support you by:

  • Providing personalised treatment within the NHS.
  • Treating you through military and civilian clinicians who understand the military environment and specialise in the type of physical health problems you have.
  • Helping families and carers of veterans with physical health problems access appropriate support services.

Who the Veterans Trauma Network can help

The VTN can support you:

  • If you have a physical health problem of any type or severity.
  • If your physical health problem is a result of your time in service.
  • No matter when your physical health problem first appeared.
  • No matter when you left the armed forces.

Accessing the Veterans Trauma Network

Ask a GP to refer you to the VTN, you can be referred even if you were not medically discharged.

Veterans Gateway

  • Veteran’s Gateway – 24/7 phoneline https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk
  • First point of contact for welfare needs including housing, finances, employment, physical and mental wellbeing

Prosthetics

A veterans’ prosthetics programme was put into place to implement the key findings of A better deal for military amputees report by Dr Andrew Murrison MP.

There are a small number of NHS disablement centres that provide specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation support to veterans to ensure that they continue to have access to high quality care similar to that which was provided to them whilst they were in the Armed Forces. They are free to attend. The nearest to this surgery are:

  • Leicester – Leicester Specialist Mobility Centre, provided by Blatchford Clinical Services on behalf of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • Sheffield – Mobility and Specialised Rehabilitation Centre, Northern General Hospital
  • Birmingham – West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Cambridge – Addenbrooke’s Rehabilitation Clinic, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mobility Equipment Support

The Royal British Legion has a Veterans’ Mobility Fund, which provides specialist wheelchairs, orthotic equipment and other mobility related items for veterans who have a service-related serious physical injury and whose needs cannot be met through statutory services. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/financial-and-employment-support/finance/grants/veterans-medical-funds

The Armed Forces Healthcare Navigator Service

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) provides emotional and practical support to the Armed Forces community when they are on a health care pathway, receiving treatment in hospital, community-based health care, or at home.

Veterans can be referred to DMWS or can contact DMWS directly. For more information, visit  https://www.dmws.org.uk/

Other services available to veterans

Veterans’ Gateway

Veterans’ Gateway is for any ex-service personnel and their families looking for advice or support, 24 hours a day. It is the first point of contact to a network of military and non-military partner organisations to help veterans and their families find exactly what information, advice and support they need, when they need it – across key areas from physical and mental health to employability, housing, finances, personal relationships and more. For more information, visit the website or call 0808 802 1212. https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/

Contact

Contact is a group of charitable, support and state organisations that have joined forces to enhance mental health support available to the Armed Forces community.  The partnership consists of Big White Wall, Cobseo, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion, Walking With The Wounded, the NHS, MOD, UK Psychological Trauma Society and King’s College London.  Contact aims to improve collaborative care management, increase instances of help-seeking behaviour, improve service provision, encourage best practice across the sector and improve public knowledge of what support is available and how best to access it. For more information, visit the website www.contactarmedforces.co.uk

Cobseo

Cobseo, as the Confederation of Service Charities, offers membership to charities who promote and further the welfare and general interests of the Armed Forces community, subject to fulfilling the membership criteria. Comprising 255 members, Cobseo provides a single point of contact for interaction with the Armed Forces community. For more information, visit the website www.cobseo.org.uk.

Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes provides direct, practical support for wounded, injured and sick service personnel, Veterans and their families. No matter when or where someone served, the charity offers the help they need, if necessary for life. They have four recovery centres in the UK that offer a wide range of services, including, but not exclusive to, psychological wellbeing, clinical support and sports recovery.

Alongside this they also offer two further services: Hidden Wounds and The Veterans Clinical Liaison Service (VCL). www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. They provide free specialised clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health conditions. Combat Stress has a strategic partnership with the MOD and the Department of Health and Social Care. This enables them to work directly with NHS mental health trusts and Armed Forces health networks to develop services suitable for military veterans. For further information, visit the website.  www.combatstress.org.uk/

Supporting Wounded Veterans

Supporting Wounded Veterans (SWV) understands the impact pain can have on a veteran and their family. They offer an online review with a consultant in pain medicine who is also a veteran. This discussion considers the options that may be available for the management of pain. Following their discussion, they are sent a letter which, with their permission, will be copied to their family doctor; at no point do they become SWV “patient”.

https://www.supportingwoundedveterans.com/veteran-pathways

One option available is attending the SWV online veterans pain resilience programme designed by veterans, for veterans. They also have links to an NHS Veterans’ Opioid Weaning Service. https://www.supportingwoundedveterans.com/pain

Blesma

Blesma supports limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Blesma is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight. They support these men and women throughout the UK and provide centralised assistance to those living overseas.

Blesma works closely with the NHS to ensure the latest advances in the relevant medical fields are converted into practical solutions that can benefit all of their members. They do not provide members’ prosthetics, but they do help prosthetists develop their skills at undergraduate and PhD level. For further information, visit the website.

https://blesma.org/

Hearing loss and tinnitus services

If a patient has acquired hearing loss and / or tinnitus relating to their time in service, additional support can be funded through the Royal British Legion Veterans’ Hearing Fund. To access the service, patients can be referred by their GP to their local NHS audiology department or an application form can be downloaded from the

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/financial-and-employment-support/finance/grants/veterans-medical-funds

ATS & WRAC Association Benevolent Fund

The ATS & WRAC Association Benevolent Fund awards one-off and recurring financial grants to purchase specific goods, services or facilities for eligible former servicewomen, or their dependents, in need. The charity also provides annual maintenance grants to former servicewomen who are either elderly, alone, living on low incomes or in ill health, and makes contributions to top-up care-home fees.  Any former ATS or WRAC servicewoman, including TA, with one day’s paid service or more prior to 1992, is eligible for assistance.  All cases must be referred through the local branch of SSAFA or regional Royal British Legion (RBL) office. SSAFA or the RBL who will arrange for a trained caseworker to interview the applicant in their home to establish the full range of assistance needed.  Please see the website or contact 0300 400 1992 for more information.

https://wracassociation.org/benevolence/

The Poppy Factory’s employment service

The Poppy Factory provides a dedicated employment service for ex-Forces patients across England and Wales, to which GPs and other health professionals can refer directly. The role of meaningful employment or training in a patient’s recovery can be significant and in 2021-22, nearly 200 ex-Forces patients were referred through the NHS, representing 35% of all referrals. Regular assessments showed that 64% reported increased health and wellbeing. The Poppy Factory’s consultants have expertise working with ex-Forces personnel with mild, moderate and complex mental and physical health conditions and will support veterans with challenges relating to mental or physical health and stability issues such as housing, finances or relationships. They can connect patients to other specialist services and work at whatever pace is right for the individual.

The Poppy Factory welcomes referrals from GPs and other health professionals.

 

We are here to support you in any way that we can. Please feel free to make an appointment to discuss any of the above referral pathways with one of our clinicians.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    07:15am to 06:30pm
    Dispensary opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:00. Enhanced access from 07:15 until 08:00
  • Tuesday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Dispensary opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:00
  • Wednesday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Dispensary opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:00.
  • Thursday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Dispensary opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:00
  • Friday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Dispensary opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:00
  • Saturday
    CLOSED
  • Sunday
    CLOSED
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