|The regular newsletter for all those who serve the ex-Service community|
The new model of NHS Community Mental Health Services and the MoD’s Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) are working together to help veterans with mental and physical health problems:
In Veterans WORLD (Issue 9) we announced the NHS new model of community mental health services. To date four of the six pilot sites are open, Staffordshire & Shropshire, Camden & Islington, Bishop Auckland and Cardiff Vale. Lothian and Cornwall, the remaining two, will open shortly. The pilots will run for two years prior to national roll out. For veterans not in a pilot catchment area the MOD’s Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) is available. The MAP was first established in 1993 for veterans concerned that their health had been adversely affected by service in the 1990/1991 Gulf Conflict. The MAP offers comprehensive physical and mental health assessments for those in-Service and ex-Service personnel who feel their ill-health may be linked to military service. The MAP was extended to Porton Down Volunteers in 2000 and to those deployed to Iraq since 2003. Last June, the Minister for Veterans extended the MAP further to those deployed to Afghanistan and to any veteran suffering mental health problems who has served in operations since 1982. Around 3,700 veterans have now attended the MAP since 1993.
Dr Ian Palmer, the Head of the MAP, is an ex-serving military medical officer. He is a qualified GP and Consultant Psychiatrist, with extensive military healthcare experience. Eligible veterans should seek a referral to the MAP through their GP. Veterans who are not registered with a doctor can contact the MAP’s Freephone Helpline: 0800 169 5401 for referral advice. The MOD will help with travel expenses for those attending and where necessary will pay overnight accommodation costs for those travelling long distances. Dr Palmer is also supporting the Camden & Islington pilot; to provide military expertise and thereby helping develop NHS capabilities for the ex-Service community.
Veterans who have attended the MAP give their views:
“Do you know a veteran who would benefit from attending one of the mental health pilot programmes or the MAP?”
‘Poppy Calls’ Scheme
The Royal British Legion is offering assistance with jobs in the home for serving and ex-Serving members of the Armed Forces who are in need.
The initiative is part of the Legion’s welfare service ‘Poppy Support’ and is offered to those who qualify for Royal British Legion assistance, which includes all who have served in the Armed Forces and their widows or dependents. It’s hoped the scheme, which has already been successfully piloted in some regions of the UK, will be rolled out nationally by 2010.
Research carried out in 2005/6 among the veterans community identified that 2.1 million are aged 75 and over, 18% said they were experiencing difficulty maintaining their homes – a total of 380,000 people who need help in this way.
Find more information on www.veterans-uk.info