Jon Lynn, The Orchard Surgery

"When I left the military, I was unsure what to expect from civilian life. I was unemployed, homeless and had a family to support. I moved back to the Wirral after 14 years away due to its location near family but also employment opportunities in North Wales, Wirral, Liverpool, Chester, and Manchester all being commutable. I found a property in Bromborough and the orchard surgery was the closest GP so I registered there.

"In the first year outside of the armed forces I struggled with my mental health and attended the surgery. It was surprising to be asked if I was a veteran, I didn't expect it, but I was appreciative of the acknowledgement that I may be suffering from issues different to those of other patients. The Wirral is not a big military hub like Colchester or Catterick, so I was a little surprised to be asked the question. The surgery sought to get me the necessary support for my mental health issues and referred me for the local mental health group where I was diagnosed with PTSD and given help in order for me to confront and manage this condition.

"Further to this, I also experienced an injury whilst serving and attended the surgery for treatment. Because of the veteran community links, I was referred to a veteran centre at Kind Edwards VII hospital in London for a consultation, and subsequently a veteran’s pain management course. This is service would not have been known or accessible had the Orchard not been committed to supporting veterans.

"Leaving the military was an incredibly difficult decision for me, and I did not know what to expect when I left. Having the support of my local GP surgery has helped my situation and I always know the support is there when I require it, for myself and my family. Thanks to the support received, I have managed to acquire a toolbox to help me deal with issues as a result of my service, and I am appreciative of all those who have put this in place." 

Andrew Cave

“As a veteran, I know only too well the difficulties that ex-service personnel can face when visiting their GP practice with service-related issues. It can be extremely daunting. That’s why this scheme is so important.” 

Hear more about Andrew’s experience as a veteran and why he is encouraging GP practices to sign up to the RCGP veteran friendly accreditation programme.

RCGP podcast: a veteran's view

Last modified: Tuesday, 19 March 2024, 5:00 PM