Veterans Health Day 12th May 2015
Kassam Stadium Oxford.
Brian Crossin and myself had been invited by John Walker RDGA, our Repat. Organiser, and ten other Veterans to attend a Veterans Health Day being held at the Kassam Football Stadium in Oxford. This was the brainchild of Lt. Col.Julian Woodhouse RAMC and organised and brought together at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford by Natasha Smith of Thames Valley NHS. The intro by Lt.Col. Woodhouse explained the necessity to help GP’s understand the sometimes special needs of ex. Service personnel and also the fact that they sometimes don’t tell their GP’s perhaps because they don’t think it important. So I think one of the main reasons for this seminar was to present some of these challenges to these young GP’s at the start of their careers to help them to understand and find out what some of their ex. service patients were having to deal with. It was interesting to know that now on leaving the Forces you are issued with a form to present to your GP with details and links to your service medical records.
Mr.Busuttil from Combat Stress also gave a comprehensive talk on the problems faced by Veterans regarding PTSD and other mental health illnesses and how they are being dealt with.
A hundred and twenty five GP’s and trainees had been invited to the Kassam Stadium and after the intros we were divided and sat at different tables and were then joined by a dozen or so Doctors and trainees to ask us about any service aches and pains we had but particularly how they were treated at that time. We were on the Far East table and they were very surprised that the sunblock of choice at the time was olive oil but they also asked questions especially regarding historical skin damage and cancers.
After ten minutes or so they were then moved to another table and we had a new intake and this went on until the Veterans on each table had spoken to all of the Doctors.
Talking to Natasha Smith NHS afterwards she said it had been a great success and they were hoping to roll it out Nationwide in the near future. The new Doctors had enjoyed and learned from the experience and had enjoyed meeting up with us at the tables.
The following Service Welfare Charities were there to explain to the new GP’s how they supported the Veterans.
1. Help for Heroes.
2. Army Benevolent Fund.
3. Combat Stress.
4. RAF Benevolent Fund.
5. MOD. Veterans UK.