Background 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.
Methods In-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight participants (three ex-service personnel, two carers, three health and social care professionals) who had used the VUP. Interviews explored the benefits, challenges and unmet needs associated with the VUP. A thematic analysis was used to identify themes within this framework.
Results 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.
Conclusions 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.
- personal healthcare records
- veterans universal passport
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Contributors LRG-M carried out the data collection and analysis, and drafted the manuscript. MF provided comments and guidance during the data analysis and drafting of the manuscript. Both authors carried out the design of the project and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This study was funded by NHS England.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Full ethical approval for the project was granted from both the Faculty Research Ethics Panel at [(redacted for peer review]) and the London–Westminster NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC ref: 18/LO/0662).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement No data are available.
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