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SCOTTISH VETERANS COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR A REINVIGORATED APPROACH TO VETERANS’ HEALTHCARE IN SCOTLAND AND MORE AMBITION AND INNOVATION IN MEETING THEIR LONG-TERM NEEDS

24 April 2018 – SCOTLAND - In his latest report published today (Wednesday April 24), The Scottish Veterans Commissioner has called for a return to the days of more attention, ambition and innovation in meeting the long-term health and social care needs of Scotland’s veterans’ community.

While Eric Fraser acknowledges that there is much to be proud of in the provision of treatment and support to veterans by statutory and charity bodies, he has concluded that there is a need for rekindled national leadership and for consistent, long-term funding to protect specialist services for the lifetime of veterans.

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Eric Fraser, commented:

“The impressive work at the start of this decade in establishing ‘specialist’ physical and mental health services for veterans in Scotland has had a significant impact over subsequent years and has rightly attracted considerable attention and praise.  We still see the benefits of this today. 

“However, there are still a significant number of men and women in our communities who struggle with injuries and conditions caused or exacerbated by their military service.  I have concluded that the levels of ambition and innovation which characterised work in support of veterans has waned in recent years.  This may be partly understandable given the pressures on the health system, but it is also disappointing that the health of veterans no longer attracts the same level of attention it once did.  I am determined to see this trend checked and a renewed investment in long-term planning.” 

In his report, Eric Fraser sets out ‘A Distinctive Scottish Approach’ to veterans’ health and wellbeing, with 18 recommendations that he hopes the Scottish Government, NHS and their partners will adopt. 

Amongst them he calls for the establishment of a National Clinical Network on veterans’ health to address issues such as funding, access and planning, an Action Plan to secure the long-term delivery of dedicated mental health services, and the identifying of veterans as a distinct group within the healthcare system in order to redress health inequalities that some face as a result of military service.  He also calls for the membership and remit of The Armed Forces and Veterans Health Joint Group to be refreshed in order to provide the strategic leadership needed, and reinvigorating senior participation in cross-border networks to improve information sharing and collaborative working across the UK and beyond.

He argues that ‘priority treatment’ for veterans, as laid out in the Armed Forces Covenant is “a largely meaningless concept” as care within the NHS is based on clinical need and not on the background, occupation or category of a patient. He believes focus instead should be on the principles of excellence, accessible and sustainable treatment for all veterans.

The report also acknowledges the need to identify veterans as such within the healthcare system and that their distinct needs are understood and met.    

A copy of the report is available here

 

Why is Cyber Security a Good Career Option for Veterans?

Nick Hartley, a former RAF Group Captain now working in business development for BT Security, explains why cyber security is a good industry for veterans. Cyber security is a broad and diverse industry, with different opportunities. Many of the skills and experiences veterans have are highly sought after in the industry. Working in cyber security for the commercial sector is more independent and less hierarchical, compared to the Armed Forces.

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Unforgotten Forces

Unforgotten Forces is a consortium of organisations, which includes Poppyscotland, has been awarded £4 million from the Aged Veterans Fund to undertake a three-year programme of support for older veterans over the age of 65 and their families in Scotland.

Unforgotten Forces is a partnership between 15 leading organisations which will deliver a range of new services and enhancements in areas including advice, access to healthcare, social isolation, respite, along with creative activities and events for those in care settings.  The consortium has been awarded the funding to undertake this ambitious programme of work.

Poppyscotland is the lead partner and in addition to coordinating the consortium, the funding will enable Poppyscotland to offer more of our popular and hugely beneficial Poppy Breaks to older veterans.

The application for funding was made to the HM Treasury grant-giving body funded from Libor banking fines.  The money will be used over the next three years to improve the coordination of existing provision and introduce new services aimed at supporting older veterans.

The portfolio will include services such as advice provision, support for those on the NHS pathway with transport being provided to appointments. Loneliness and isolation will be tackled through befriending, respite breaks and a newly created day centre.

Unforgotten Forces Newsletters:

Unforgotten Forces Newsletter No.1 Spring 2018

 

Scottish Veterans Housing Association Flat Available at Bellrock Close, Glasgow 

             

Scottish Veterans Housing Association have a first floor, 1 bedroom flat available now at our Bellrock Close development in Glasgow.  Built in 2014 the flat has one bedroom, carpets and blinds included and good quality appliances.   There is a lift in the property and access by controlled entry .The property has EcoHomes accreditation. The rent is £368.33 per calendar month including service charges.  Council Tax Band B.  Landlord Registration Number 119005/260/11281.

Closing date for applications is Monday 26th March 2018. 

Please apply by registering your interest in this property with our Voids and Allocation Officer, Susan MacKellar, based at Bellrock Close, contacting via email at susanm@svronline.org or by telephone on 0141 766 2580.

 

 

Veterans Scotland Newsletter

Read the latest issue of the VS Newsletter here

Past issues are also available here

 

Cobseo Newsletter

A link to the recent Cobseo Newsletter is available here.