08 March 2011
Views sought on improving mental health services for service personnel and veterans
The views of current and former service personnel, plus their
carers and their families, are being sought by Avon and
Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), on how mental
health services can be improved for veterans from across the south
Feedback will influence recommendations to be made to the
Strategic Heath Authority by the end of March on how the recent
Murrison review entitled "Fighting Fit: A Mental Health Plan for
Servicemen and Veterans" can best be implemented.
This work is driven by a tight timetable that is designed to
enable funding to be managed more effectively in the next financial
year, so as to deliver improved care and support to service
personnel who suffer mental health problems as a result of their
military experiences. Consequently your input, preferably
before the end of March, would be appreciated. However,
information submitted after that time would continue to be used to
influence actual service delivery.
AWP has been tasked to work in partnership with commissioners,
other mental health trusts, the main service and veterans
organisations plus those sector groups active in this area to
identify the mental health service requirements of veterans and the
best way of delivering effective support to them.
The project, which is part of a national programme, is
designed to ensure coherent and seamless delivery of services
from a range of statutory and voluntary agencies .
In the next few weeks a range of veterans and military groups
will be visited, views will be sought from GPs, voluntary groups
and other NHS organisations. But individual views are also
Asked to do this work by NHS South West, the project is being
driven by AWP under the auspices of the South West Armed
Forces Health Forum (SWAFF), and already a specialist mental health
sub group has been set up by AWP involving a range of statutory and
voluntary organisations to contribute to this project.
Dr Arden Tomison, Executive Medical Director of AWP, said:
"This is an opportunity to identify the support that is needed and
to draw on the positive experiences of the NHS, the military
and third sector organisations to identify the most effective ways
of making this available throughout the south west.
"Similar projects are being run in other parts of the country
and, supported by the Government, the hope is that by identifying
the very best practice the level of care will improve."
Ex service personnel, or those with a particular interest in
this area, who would like to pass on their views on this subject
were invited to take part in the survey.