Anon soldiers and junior soldiers on parade square during passing out at Army Foundation College Harrogate 080820 CREDIT BFBS
Families

NHS Launches Questionnaire To Improve Support For Military

The results will offer suggestions for how Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families can be better supported by NHS England.

Anon soldiers and junior soldiers on parade square during passing out at Army Foundation College Harrogate 080820 CREDIT BFBS

The NHS has launched a questionnaire in a bid to find out how Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families can access health services more easily across England.

The aim is also to ensure that Forces families caring for individuals injured during their time in the military can receive adequate care and support from NHS England.

Speaking to Forces News, Kate Davies from NHS England said that over the past few years and months, they have developed a model that takes the form of "an engagement questionnaire".

The questionnaire aims to "find out what families and carers of the Armed Forces community think of the services they get in the NHS and how those can be improved".

"And really making quite sure that through that feedback we then will change, develop and continue to do what works," Ms Davies added.

Asked to elaborate on particular issues that have been flagged and will need to be addressed, she said: "[The Armed Forces community] have very unique lifestyles.

"They have to move around a lot.

Watch: NHS wants to know how their services 'can be improved'.

"They sometimes aren't asked by their GP whether they're part of the Armed Forces community or whether they're with someone who's here as a veteran.

"We feel that it's very important, as we develop the services over the next five years, that families and carers are at the front of that, too."

Iza Gill's husband is in the Army. They have been married for 23 years and have two children.

She told Forces News that, like many other Armed Forces families, they have "moved around a fair bit" and "often at short notice".

"The primary problem with moving around with the Forces is that you have to start again every time you move," she said.

Asked what she would like to see addressed in the NHS questionnaire, Ms Gill said: "I think a lot of peoplein the NHSmay not understand that people are forced to move frequently and can't even complete the course of treatment before they've had to move.

"So, I think, just an understanding that we're not the same as a lot of stable families might be."

The engagement questionnaire will be available to complete for two months until 30 November.

During this time, the NHS will also host a series of online meetings and events.