A FORMER army medic from Gosport, who is now leading one of the biggest shake-ups in NHS mental healthcare services, has pledged: ‘We will always be there for veterans’. Dr Jonathan Leach made the vow ahead of a major roll-out of the NHS’s veterans’ mental health complex treatment service this month. The new scheme will streamline the way traumatised service personnel are given treatment for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As part of the initiative, which will soon roll out across Hampshire, veterans will be given a greater chance for local treatment in the community that are more flexible than previous residential courses.
Dr Leach, who served 25 years in the British Army reaching the rank of Colonel and was once based in Gosport, said a new team of specially-trained professionals – many veterans or current-serving armed forces personnel – had been behind the idea. It comes after fears were raised by ex-servicemen about the NHS axing a £3.2m fund for armed forces charity, Combat Stress, which offers services for those battling PTSD.