A LEADING group of Northeast GP practices have been named as Armed Forces Veteran Friendly practices.

The announcement comes as Northumbria Primary Care looks ahead to Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 24.

Northumbria Primary Care, a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of Northumbria Healthcare, manages nine practices across Northumberland and North Tyneside. Its five Northumberland practices formed their own Primary Care Network (PCN) in 2022.

The accreditation was awarded by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which launched the Veteran Friendly programme to raise awareness of different healthcare needs veterans can face.

RCGP developed the programme alongside NHS England and NHS Improvement.

To become veteran-friendly, practices are required to meet criteria and provide evidence they are supportive of veterans' healthcare.

This means that, as part of the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, each Northumbria Primary Care practice has a dedicated clinician with specialist knowledge of military-related health conditions and veteran-specific health services.

This helps ex-forces to get the best treatment.

Senior group manager at Northumbria Primary Care and RAF veteran, David Pierce, said: “Having spent such a significant portion of my life involved in the armed forces, it makes me really proud to work for an organisation that takes its commitment to veterans so seriously.

"We have a sizable veteran population across our nine GP practices, and this should give those patients confidence that our staff are trained to be aware of their needs and are able to signpost them to the most appropriate care pathways."