Finding the Forgotten

People who have served in the Armed Forces are being urged to inform their local doctor as part of a new study.

The University of Chester’s Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing is carrying out the study to determine the number of military veterans registered at four GP practices in Fylde and Wyre.

Veterans at The Village Practice in Thornton, Ash Tree House in Kirkham, The Mount View Practice in Fleetwood and Queensway Medical Centre in Poulton-le-Fylde have been asked to let their practice know between May 8 and June 19.

Dr Robin Jackson, Chairman of the NHS Armed Forces Network North West, said: “A military Veteran is anyone who has served at least one day in our Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve). Estimates of the numbers of veterans in the North West vary from 250,000 to 560,000.

“Veterans can have a greater likelihood of some illnesses than their civilian counterparts, such as hearing loss and limb and joint problems and mental health issues. Service personnel can also experience specific mental health problems as a result of their military service. These include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression 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.”

Organisers of the study have assured veterans that the study will identify numbers only. Personal data will remain confidential.