A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage veterans to make themselves known to GPs.

The move is being led by the Beacon Medical Group through its surgeries in Ivybridge, Plympton, Chaddlewood and Wotter.

The group is working with SSAFA the armed forces charity, to raise awareness of the health services available for veterans.

Ex-services personnel can have unique needs, with the impact of working in war zones and combat situations often not making itself felt until decades later.

As such it is important GPs are aware of their service history, which helps them make better diagnoses, and be more aware of the unique risks in this group.

As well as asking veterans to come forward, and other medical practices to follow their lead, the Beacon Medical Group will be working with other community providers to identify gaps in the health service, and what support groups can be introduced into the community to support veterans medically.

Beacon chief operating officer Claire Oatway said: ’We know that veterans have additional health risks such as musculoskeletal, hearing loss and diabetes, as well as mental health. We want to reach out to our patients to explore how many are veterans.

’This can help us to provide better one-to-one care and to plan our services differently.

’If you are a patient and a veteran, please get in touch.’