"Treatment of Military Veterans"

About: NHS Leeds West CCG

(as the patient),

I was medically discharged from the Armed Forces last year. When joining this this practice I submitted paperwork to them which clearly stated how they could obtain my military medical records.

DH and NHS Policy states that veterans should receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, for any condition that is likely to relate to the military service. This surgery have no idea about this long standing policy! A doctor stated on one referral letter 'and wonders if there is any priority regarding her being given an appointment as soon as possible', I did not in fact wonder, I stated to the GP that I was entitled to priority treatment, subject to clinical need, to which they replied that they knew nothing of this!

I visited today to ask some questions and submit a complaint. I asked if in fact the surgery had obtained my medical records, to which the answer was no, I also stated that no one had obviously read the paperwork I had submitted over a year ago.

I also asked if the surgery had a policy on the treatment of military veterans. The PM asked me to wait whilst they looked into some of the questions raised. After a time, they returned and produced a 'Military Veterans Treatment Priority Protocol' document. This had been downloaded from a website and was a generic document which could be 'downloaded and adapted for use only within your practice'. Call me cynical, but I believe that this document had just been found and produced, after my enquiry. This surgery is not complying with Department of Health or NHS Protocols/Guidelines. They have no excuse, none of the staff appear to be aware of priority for service veterans, ignorance is not a excuse.

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