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Project to improve the mental health of veterans shortlisted for national award

A project to improve primary healthcare for veterans led by the University of Chester has been shortlisted for a major national award. 

Where are all the Veterans? has been named as a finalist in the HSJ (Health Service Journal) Partnership Awards 2024 in the category of Primary Care Project of the Year. It is a joint project between the University of Chester’s Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans and NHS Primary Healthcare Partners. 

The team at the University partnered with 16 Primary Health Care (PHC) providers to improve veteran registration by 300%. They then went on to evaluate nearly 200,000 PHC patient medical E-records to reveal that 38% of veterans had a lifetime history of a common psychiatric disorder. This pioneering cost-effective methodology produced accurate data that can be applied to any clinical morbidity. 

During 2023, the project has extended into exploring physical disorders with a matched non-veteran comparison study. The Centre produced a free evidence based educational E-learning module and an online video to improve PHC staff awareness and knowledge.These are being widely used with positive interaction from Royal College of General Practitioners and National Health Service (England).

The HSJ Partnership Awards 2024 shine a light on how such collaborations strengthen the healthcare system and will ensure the crucial contributions of the private and third sector are recognised and celebrated at a national level. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday, March 21.

Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health, Alan Finnegan, who led the project, said:

“I’m very proud that we have been shortlisted for this award and for the positive impact this project is having on the mental health of veterans it is supporting.”

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