Ex military personnel
We offer specialist NHS services appropriate for all ex-military personnel whether their problems have been acquired recently or have developed long after leaving the services. We see individuals who have seen service in Iraq as well as those who served in Bosnia, the Falklands or the Gulf War. Others have been injured during training. Many veterans have problems with persistent, distressing pain or fatigue. The RNHRD has specialist services that address all of these problems.
Why choose us?
The ethos of our hospital prioritises multidisciplinary care focussed on the needs of the individual so we are well disposed to provide for the complex needs of ex-service personnel. We understand that the physical problem often goes along with social and emotional problems. For example, the veteran might have both pain and post-traumatic stress after an injury. Years of physical disability can begin to affect a person's mood, leaving them depressed and lacking in confidence. Their relationships can be affected. We understand these difficulties and can often help. We have developed a special interest in meeting the needs of ex-service personnel, and train our staff to understand the specific needs of those who have served in the armed forces.
What we offer
Many veterans experience:
- severe back pain or joint pain
- constant disabling fatigue and exhaustion
- pain associated with amputation
The RNHRD regularly treats people with these problems, whether they are service-related or not. For example, we have established expertise in:
Our chronic pain services are suitable for patients with long-standing chronic pain, from back pain to phantom limb/amputee pain that is not due to a progressive disease (e.g., cancer). The pain causes substantial disability in daily living, work or family functioning. It can be complicated by mood problems, e.g. depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Other options (e.g. medication, physiotherapy) have already been tried; patients are often already on strong painkillers.
Our fatigue management service treats people with significant fatigue and associated symptoms that cause substantial disability in daily living, work or family functioning.
Advice regarding employment and work rehabilitation forms a large part of the lifestyle management approach to managing these symptoms.
Our rheumatology services provide assessment, diagnosis and medical management of osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) with access to orthopaedic surgery, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathy eg ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, metabolic bone disease including osteoporosis and Paget's disease and connective tissue diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis). We have access to modern radiological investigations including x-ray, musculoskeletal ultrasound, isotope bone scans, MRI scans and CT scans. We provide a comprehensive therapy service including specialist physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
How to access our services
The RNHRD actively takes part in local and national NHS Armed Forces Networks. Treatment for veterans is through standard NHS routes, and veterans are seen alongside other civilians. Our services are specialist and intensive so we try to make sure that appropriate local NHS options have been tried before people get referred to us. If you are a veteran, or a clinician treating a veteran, you are invited to telephone or email our clinicians to discuss whether referral might be appropriate.
Dr Jeremy Gauntlett-Gilbert, senior clinical psychologist, tel: 01225 473427
Anne Johnson or Nikie Catchpool, advanced practitioner occupational therapists, tel: 01225 473456
Dr Tim Jenkinson, consultant rheumatologist, tel: 01225 473428