Scots Veterans commissioner shares highlights and shortfalls for group help

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner (SVC) has immediately revealed her annual evaluation of the Scottish Authorities’s progress in enhancing help and providers for Scotland’s veterans and their households.

The report evaluates progress made in opposition to plenty of suggestions made by the SVC workplace which the Scottish Authorities has dedicated to implementing.

Pictured: SVC Suside Hamilton. (C) Smarts Company.

The most recent evaluation recognized notable successes throughout the areas of well being and wellbeing, and employment, expertise and studying.

The report highlights key developments in employability and expertise help, together with the launch in 2023 of the Army Abilities and {Qualifications} Discovery Device.

Developed by the SCQF Partnership, the web device helps veterans, studying establishments and employers extra simply align the talents, expertise and {qualifications} gained throughout service with their civilian equivalents.

Work to lift consciousness among the many enterprise group of the advantages that veterans can carry to the civilian office can be recognised.

The 2021 Veterans Psychological Well being and Wellbeing Motion Plan, co-produced by the Scottish Veterans Care Community, was developed in response to an SVC suggestion revealed in 2018.

Nevertheless, progress in supply has been gradual.

It additionally highlighted psychological well being and homelessness prevention as areas the place additional progress is required.

Scottish Veterans Commissioner Susie Hamilton commented: “This 12 months’s report has proven some actually encouraging progress, significantly within the space of well being and wellbeing.

The continued growth of a brand new therapy pathway for the small variety of veterans in Scotland who’ve skilled polytrauma addresses two suggestions made by the SVC workplace.

This has the potential to remodel the lives of essentially the most critically injured veterans.

“There has additionally been important progress in growing an Armed Forces and Veterans Common Apply Recognition Scheme to extend consciousness in Common Practices across the well being and wellbeing implications of serving in and transitioning from the Armed Forces.

“The pilot scheme, which targeted on coaching Common Apply employees to raised help and deal with veterans and signpost them to veteran-specific help, was not too long ago accomplished and preparations are actually underway for a nationwide rollout.

“For many Service leavers, GPs are the gatekeepers to wider healthcare providers, so an improved understanding of veterans’ wants is a pivotal step in the direction of guaranteeing they’ll entry applicable well being and wellbeing providers in a well timed method.

“Discussions about growing the scheme for secondary care environments are actually happening and I sit up for additional updates on this.”

The  Commissioner added: “Psychological well being providers and help stays an space through which we generally hear about unmet want and I’m clear that supply of a Veterans Psychological Well being and Wellbeing Pathway have to be prioritised.

Implementation is essential in guaranteeing equal entry to psychological well being and wellbeing help for veterans throughout Scotland.

Current updates have been extra encouraging, however the Scottish Authorities should preserve this so as to ship a well timed and efficient Veterans Psychological Well being and Wellbeing Pathway.”

The Commissioner additionally raised considerations round supply of the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Pathway, which was revealed in early 2022:

“The Veterans Homelessness Prevention Pathway was the results of vital collaborative work led by the third sector, developed to assist be certain that each veteran in Scotland has a secure place to name residence.

“Nevertheless, little has been achieved to this point and progress in implementing this a lot wanted pathway is gradual, with no clear milestones or timelines supplied.”

Of the 81 suggestions made to this point, 35 have been achieved in full and 21 have been absorbed into subsequent suggestions.

The Commissioner will proceed to observe progress in opposition to all excellent suggestions via annual evaluation.

The Commissioner concluded: “Offering scrutiny and supportive problem to coverage makers and people offering providers to veterans is a crucial facet of my function.

It offers an unbiased and impactful image of statutory help for veterans in Scotland, permitting us to rejoice successes and focus consideration on areas the place extra effort is required.

“Veterans and their households could make vastly precious contributions to workplaces and communities.

“Nevertheless, it’s vital that we establish and handle the problems and challenges they face – no veteran ought to face drawback on account of their Service to their nation.”

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