Veterans: Medical Records

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 7 June 2022.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his most recent estimate of the time taken for medical records to be transferred from Defence Medical Services to a civilian GP when service personnel leave the armed forces.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

One to three months before discharge, Service personnel are required to register with an NHS GP. However, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not notified by the NHS when an individual registers, so it is not possible for the MOD to automatically provide an individual's medical records to the GP. The new NHS GP must request records from the MOD, as they would from the previous NHS GP. Given this and that some records are never requested, no accurate estimate can be made of the average time from discharge to the receipt of the medical records by the NHS GP.

When medical records are requested, the MOD recognises the importance of transferring them promptly to the NHS to ensure continuity of care. To make this process as seamless as possible, a Primary Medical Care Solution is being developed, under Programme Cortisone, that will link MOD systems with national NHS systems. The Primary Medical Care Solution is in development and currently expected to go live in early 2023, followed by an 18-month rollout to all Defence Medical Services practices.

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