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The University of Chester’s Westminster Centre for Veterans’ Research is carrying out a research initiative to determine the number of military veterans registered at 12 GP medical centres in Chester, Helsby and Warrington. The findings from the research will help the NHS provide the optimum health resources for the veteran population.

Veterans who are registered at Elms Medical Centre; Heath Lane Medical Centre; Park Medical Centre; City Walls Medical Centre; Helsby and Elton Practice; Lache Health Centre; Penketh Health Centre; Holes Lane Surgery; Fearnhead Medical Centre; Stockton Heath Medical Centre; Culcheth Medical Centre and Birchwood Medical Centre have been asked to let their practice know at any time between time between September 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 that they have served in the British Armed Forces. 

Dr Alan Finnegan, the University of Chester’s Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health and Chairman of the Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Committee said: “A military veteran is anyone who has served at least one day in our Armed Forces as either a Regular or Reserve. Veterans are estimated as being 5% of the population, and we know that significant numbers still need to be correctly coded within Primary Healthcare.

“Veterans can have a greater likelihood of some illnesses than their civilian counterparts, such as hearing loss and limb and joint problems. Ex-Forces personnel can also experience specific mental health problems as a result of their military service, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety and alcohol misuse. In order to provide the correct health resources to meet the needs of these people, it is important to have accurate data on the number of veterans. This, importantly, includes the more elderly members of our armed forces community who may be socially isolated or living in a care home or assisted living and many of whom may have completed National Service.”

The funding to support this programme has been awarded by Forces in Mind Trust, and will identify numbers only, and personal data will remain confidential.

* Image taken prior to lockdown.

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