Veterans Health – Community Veterans Mental Health Service
© Crown Copyright, images from www.defenceimages.mod.uk
The Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence have launched the first of a number of pilots designed to ensure that NHS health professionals have appropriate support and available expertise they may need to treat veterans with mental health problems. The four UK health departments, the MOD, and the charity Combat Stress, have been working together closely to develop and pilot a new model of community-based mental health care.
Centred on the client and GP, these arrangements will make it easier for veterans with concerns about their mental health to seek and access help. The pilots will provide veterans with a service, led by a Community Veterans’ Mental Health Therapist that will offer understanding of the particular issues for those who have served in the Armed Forces.
Treatment options will include the commissioning of services offered by Combat Stress. The first pilot has begun in Stafford, which will cover Shropshire and Staffordshire, with similar arrangements expected to begin very shortly in Camden and Islington, and then over the next few months Cardiff, Cornwall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Scotland.
In the interim, the MOD’s Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) offers expert mental health assessments to any veteran with mental health problems who has served in operations since 1982; in particular, for areas not yet involved in the pilots, this offers support where a GP may be concerned that he has not fully understood the military background to a veteran’s problem or who wishes specialist advice on the treatment options. The MAP is currently staffed by Dr Ian Palmer, an ex-serving military medical officer. He is a qualified GP and Consultant Psychiatrist.
Contact Details for the Clinics launched so far:
St George’s Hospital site
Stafford ST16 3AG
Tel: 01785 257888
Baird Medical Centre
St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Palace Road
London SE1 7EH
Tel: 0800 169 5401
Camden Traumatic Stress Clinic
The Traumatic Stress Clinic
73 Charolotte Street
London W1T 4PL
Tel: 020 7530 3666
Fax: 020 7530 3677
Cardiff Veterans Mental Health Service
Neil J. Kitchiner
Community Veterans Mental Health Therapist
University of Wales
Cardiff CF14 4XW
Tel: 029 2074 2284