Practice nurses encouraged to use direct web-based referrals for ex-Forces patients

02 January 2023
Volume 34 · Issue 1


For ex-Forces patients, a dedicated career coaching service is available across England and Wales, to which general practice nurses can refer directly, using a simple web-based form. Debbie Boughtflower, from The Poppy Factory charity, explains more

Social prescribing is widely recognised as a valuable and cost-effective intervention that can significantly reduce workload in primary care. Most recently, the move to allow NHS social prescribers to prescribe heating to patients with long-term conditions that get worse in the cold, was welcomed by many frontline staff. Something to consider when considering social prescribing, is the importance of meaningful employment in a patient's recovery.

For many people who leave the Forces, the transition to civilian life is smooth and successful. But for some, the outcome is not quite as positive. Alongside physical challenges such as musculoskeletal and hearing problems, veterans may have an increased risk of experiencing anxiety and depression, alcohol and substance misuse, gambling problems and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), making it difficult to gain and keep meaningful employment.

At The Poppy Factory, our employment consultants have expertise working with ex-Forces personnel with mild, moderate and complex mental and physical health conditions. We know employment can have a very positive effect on mental health and wellbeing and offer our employment services to veterans who have served in the Armed Forces or Reserves -often for many years, or in some cases, just a few days or weeks. While employment is always the end goal, support may include help accessing training or education; health and wellbeing services; or volunteering opportunities.

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