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Exclusive help for veterans
from MOD and NHS partnership.

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:

Dr Ian Palmer
   Dr Ian Palmer with MAP Private Secretary Brenda Hazelwood

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:

“My visit to the MAP clinic was well worth it. It made sense of why I was so unwell following my deployment and how I can get on in the future. I feel reassured that I am not ill.” Female Staff Sgt [serving]

“My most sincere thanks for your time and patience in seeing me. I draw great confidence from the thorough assessment and proposed plan of action provided.” Brigadier [retired]

“I feel a lot more confident in coping and tackling the problems I have experienced following active Service in the Falklands War.” Senior rate RN [retired]

“Do you know a veteran who would benefit from attending one of the mental health pilot programmes or the MAP?”

infologo   The MAP contact details are:

Dr Ian Palmer,
Head of Medical Assessment Programme,
Baird Medical Centre,
Gassiot House,
St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Palace Road,
London SE1 7EH

Freephone Helpline: 0800 169 5401

Further details about the new model of community mental health services and the MAP service can be found on the Veterans UK website at:


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‘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.

rbl handyman

The ‘Poppy Calls’ Scheme carries out minor repairs and awkward jobs in the home such as fitting smoke detectors or community alarm systems. The service will be particularly helpful for elderly people who perhaps feel isolated or unable to carry out every day tasks such as changing a light bulb or fixing a broken lock.

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.

Brand new Handyman van

infologo   For further information contact:

Jenny Keeling
Public Relations Officer
The Royal British Legion
Tel: 020 7302 7140


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