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Ex-servicemen: Mental Health Services

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is provided to GPs on the range of NHS services available to ex-military personnel suffering from combat stress and associated problems. (233973)

The vast majority of ex-military personnel receive treatment for service related and other difficulties in the same way as the rest of the population.

To ensure that the national health service is doing all that it can for people who have served their country, we have created two additional initiatives. We have set up pilot schemes in nine NHS Mental Health Trusts in the UK to help ensure that veterans are able to access the treatment they need. We are evaluating this with the intention of rolling out best practice throughout the NHS.

Although we have not issued specific guidance to general practitioners (GPs) we have recently issued a document entitled Commissioning IAPT for the Whole Community that makes specific reference to the ways in which primary care trusts can ensure that their veterans population has access to the mental health help they need. We would expect that this guidance would inform local commissioning of primary care services, including GPs.