Veterans: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Defence written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of David Mowat David Mowat Conservative, Warrington South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what due diligence and accurate detailed correlation exists between civilian clinical practitioners' notes and his Department's individual service records when conducting treatment or diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

When an individual joins the armed forces they are registered with the Defence Medical Services (DMS) and a new DMS medical record is created. Their NHS medical record from before this period is 'frozen' and held by the NHS in a central location. The NHS record is held until the individual registers with an NHS general practitioner on leaving service. At this point the NHS medical record is posted to the new GP. The service leaver is provided with a summary of their DMS medical record (FMed 133) to give to their new NHS GP. The FMed 133 also includes instructions on how the NHS GP can request their full DMS medical record.

In some cases, an individual may not hand over their FMed 133 to their new NHS GP, or make clear that they are a veteran. Since December 2013, therefore, on registration with an NHS GP, the individual's previous NHS record is sent to the GP with a letter included in it. This letter informs the NHS GP that the patient has been under the care of the DMS. It also gives details of how the GP can obtain the individual's full DMS medical record from the MOD, if they deem it necessary.

Over the next 12 months, work will continue to develop the systems further to allow for a summary of in-service care to be included with the NHS record when it is sent to the NHS GP. It is anticipated that this will be (or will be similar to) the FMed 133. This will ensure that the NHS GP will know that they are dealing with a veteran and will automatically give them a summary of their military medical record. The NHS GP will also know how they can get a copy of the full DMS medical history if they decide that they require it.

Review of the original NHS and DMS medical records to identify the diagnoses made and treatment regimes recommended are a matter for the new NHS GP.

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