Image for Walking with the Wounded News - WWTW’s Rod Eldridge speaks at RAF Henlow

WWTW’s Rod Eldridge speaks at RAF Henlow

Walking With The Wounded's clinical lead Rod Eldridge speaks at the Veterans Day held at RAF Henlow

Lt Col (Rtd) Rod Eldridge – clinical lead for Head Start - spoke at Health Education England's ‘Veterans Day’ held at RAF Henlow on 5th July. This was part of a Nationwide Health Education England initiative to raise awareness and educate GPs on the mental and social health needs of veterans.

Several veterans presented to the audience, discussing their own journeys post leaving the Armed Forces, covering prevalent topics such as muscular skeletal, hearing and mental health difficulties.

Walking With The Wounded’s Duncan Slater also took to the stage, speaking not only as a veteran but as a double below-the-knee amputee. Duncan (ex-RAF Platoon Sergeant) lost both of his legs due to injuries sustained when his vehicle was hit by a road-side bomb in Afghanistan in 2009. He has since gone on to be the first double amputee to ski to the South Pole and complete the gruelling Marathon des Sables.

GP’s then took part in ‘speed-dating’ style discussion in order to pose questions to the veterans themselves with regards to their service and health issues.

The afternoon afforded a number of established military charities and services the opportunity to spread awareness amongst the medical community about the support that is available to veterans. Thus, great emphasis was placed on GPs asking the question “Did you serve?”, in order that this crucial information can be recorded on Practice Health Records – not simply to know where they live and the issues they’re experiencing, but so that those who have served can be quickly identified and then made aware of the wealth of services that are available to them.

The day was received exceptionally well by all who attended, including 42 GP Registrars.