GP Surgery Audit: Veterans and Suicide Prevention

1. Hello and Welcome to our Survey

Thank you taking part in this survey.   It will help us develop our Suicide Prevention Strategy for Veterans.  

Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders committed to the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant in October 2012.  Similar pledges have been signed across the UK.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

In Suffolk there are an estimated 34-38,000 veterans.  Most served many years ago and many won’t be aware of services that may support their existing or future health, well-being and welfare needs.  Whilst the majority of ex-service personnel live fulfilling lives post service, recent evidence shows that veterans and/or their family members / close friends are among those at higher risk of suicide. This is why we are keen to identify veterans and promote additional services such as through community networks and social prescribing. 
This short survey should take only a few minutes to complete. 

1. Please provide the name and address of your practice and a contact name (the best person to speak to about our work in this area) This will be helpful for follow up discussion.


2. The NHS Long Term Plan has a particular focus on improving NHS England’s mental health services for former armed forces members. In June 2018, NHS England launched the Veterans Friendly GP surgery initiative, a programme through which GPs and their teams can sign up to become a ‘veteran-friendly’ practice with the aim that every practice across England joins the scheme over the next five years.

The scheme enables practices to qualify to become an accredited GP practice if they meet the following criteria:
• Have a lead for veteran’s issues within the surgery;
• Identity and flag veterans on their computer system;
• Undertake dedicated training and attend armed forces healthcare meetings, and;
• Increase understanding of the health needs of veterans amongst both clinical and administrative staff.

Are you aware of the initiative?


3. Has your Practice already taken up the initiative and become a Veteran Friendly practice?


4. If you answered "No" above, is your Practice intending to become a Veteran Friendly practice?


5. On your New Patient Registration Form do you ask the following?:

1. Whether the patient is a veteran?
2. Whether the patient has any history of suicide in their family?

6. Have you checked your existing patient list for who is a veteran?


7. If "No" to any of the above, would your Practice be interested in working with us to introduce these things?