This paper explores the impact of using the Veterans Universal Passport on the health and social care journeys of veterans accessing civilian services.
The transfer of care between different health and social care systems are often associated with poor outcomes and disengagement. Indeed, following the transition from military to civilian life, ex-service personnel report difficulties in navigating civilian health and social care services. Personal healthcare records are associated with a number of benefits, including improved continuity of care and patient empowerment. As such, this pilot project aimed to assess the benefits of the Veterans Universal Passport (VUP) in supporting UK ex-service personnel accessing NHS services. Participants felt that the VUP improved continuity of care and promoted a feeling of control over care. The military-specific nature of the VUP promoted a sense of identity and provided a ‘support scaffold’ for navigating the complexities of the civilian healthcare system. Challenges included awareness among health and social care professionals, and engagement of users. All participants suggested development into a digital application. Findings suggest that the VUP had a positive impact on veterans’ access to civilian health and social care services, highlighting that it provided a much-needed structure to their journey through treatment. Considering the parallels with other health and social care transitions, translation for other populations may be beneficial.
Godier-McBard, L. R. and Fossey, M., 2020. Veterans Universal Passport: a pilot of a health and social care record for UK ex-service personnel. BMJ Military Health. Online First. doi: org/10.1136/jramc-2019-001288.