Monthly ArchiveMarch 2018

NHS to Launch New Mental Health Service for Soldiers

Former soldiers suffering from substance abuse, trauma and other issues will receive support from a new mental health service launched by the NHS. This service is called the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service and will offer treatment and care to former soldiers.

The new service is backed by £3.2 million of NHS funding and will help those with the most complex needs. This new service aims to help ex-soldiers access services closer to home, rather than making them travel to receive care.

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The UK Armed Forces Mental Health Annual Summary 2016/17 reported that 3.2% of UK Armed Forces personnel were assessed with a mental disorder, representing 3 in 10. This has risen in the last 10 years from 1.8% and is likely to continue increasing in time.

The demographics found that the majority of cases were relating to:

  • Army and RAF personnel – the lower rates of mental disorder seen among Royal Marines may be the due to the recruitment selection process, support received as a result of tight unit cohesion and high levels of preparedness for combat;
  • Females – this is replicated in the UK civilian population and may be a result of females being more likely to report mental health problems than males;
  • Other Ranks – higher educational attainment and socio-economic background are associated with lower levels of mental health disorder and this may explain differences in the rates between officers and other ranks;
  • Personnel aged between 20 and 44 years of age.

Read more on this study here.

Combat Stress, The UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health have been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for almost a century. Combat Stress provides support to former veterans from every service and every conflict over the phone, online, in the community and at their treatment centres.

Their mission is to raise awareness that invisible injuries can be just as hard to cope with as physical ones. So when a veteran is having a tough time, Combat Stress helps to tackle the past and to help them take on the future.

You can find out more about Combat Stress and donate at

There is no doubt that help is on the rise for former army veterans and this new NHS initiative will continue to support our ex-soldiers in the battle of mental health.

NHS Digital Academy hailed as ‘important mechanism’ for cyber security

In an article by Digital Health released last week, it was announced by NHS England’s CIO, Will Smart, that he feels the NHS Digital Academy will be a “really important mechanism” for improving cyber security within the NHS.

What is the NHS Digital Academy?

The NHS Digital Academy is a virtual organisation set up to develop a new generation of digital leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS.

The Academy will provide a year long world class digital health training course to Chief Clinical Information Officers, Chief Information Officers and aspiring digital leaders from clinical, and non clinical, backgrounds.

Find out more about the NHS Digital Academy here.

Why Was it Established?

Will Smart was summoned to speak at NHS England’s board meeting on 8 February to discuss his review of the WannaCry cyber-attack, which took place in May 2017. After this attack had taken place, the NHS was scrutinised by a government report for not following cyber-security recommendations.

WannaCry spread to more than 150 countries in a worldwide ransomware attack and caused over 6,900 NHS appointments to be cancelled, making it the biggest cyber-attack to hit the NHS to date. As a result of this attack, the NHS Digital Academy was created in an attempt to prevent future attacks.

Learn more about the WannaCry attacks here.

How Can it Help?

Smart’s report, which was released last week, lists 22 recommendations for the future, including the appointment of a chief information and security officer (CISO) and a dedicated cyber security lead across the entire English NHS.

The academy, which opened its doors for applications in November, aims to train 300 NHS digital leaders over the next three years. “The Digital Academy is a really important mechanism and can take cybersecurity that one step further,” Smart added.

Read more on this story here.