All our practices are officially Veteran Friendly
One of our practice managers has successfully spearheaded a campaign to ensure all SSP Health surgeries are up to the mark in giving the best healthcare possible to military personnel and veterans ahead of the VE Day anniversary.
Simon Carr, who spent 25 years in the Army before working in healthcare, led the drive to have all SSP Health’s practices accredited as ‘Veteran Friendly’ in time for the 75th-anniversary celebrations.
The main requirements of the scheme, run by the Royal College of General Practice, is that each surgery should have all veterans flagged on its patient list and to have a clinical lead that has served in the military or has had appropriate training.
Simon joined the Army aged 16, serving in the Royal Artillery for 25 years and rising to the rank of Warrant Officer.
He worked in Artillery Command and Control and Trials and Development, completing operational tours of duty in Iraq, Cyprus, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Simon is also an active member of the Royal British Legion, which supports both serving and retired members of our armed forces.
His own GP practice in Wigan was one of the first to sign up to the accreditation scheme and he believes there are clear benefits for both surgeries and patients who served in the military.
Simon said: “Having this accreditation shows to patients and staff that we have a clear commitment to people who have committed to us.
“It shows we can identify and get the right treatment for struggling veterans or serving service personnel.
“Service personnel are used to being in a team and will readily identify with accredited practices as being part of that team and their ethos.
“The 75th anniversary of VE day is one of the last big anniversaries that anyone that had served will be able to take part in, so it was really important to ensure that we achieved accreditation across all our practices to show our support in both health and social needs to our current military communities.”
Simon has ensured all 35 of SSP Health’s practice sites across the north west are accredited in time for the Bank Holiday anniversary.
SSP Health Director and GP, Dr Shikha Pitalia said: “This is a fantastic initiative and we are incredibly grateful to Simon for taking the lead in this and ensuring all our practices are signed up to this important accreditation.
“Former and serving armed forces personnel can have particular needs and it is vital that healthcare staff are made aware of them.”
Simon is pictured at a recent Remembrance Day Parade.