Following completion of my PhD in child mental health in 2016, I am currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the King's Centre for Military Health Research, King's College London. I am responsible for leading the daily coordination of an innovative research study, examining the feasibility of extracting patient data from two different electronic case registers. These systems include data on treatment seeking military veterans, who have accessed secondary mental health care services within the UK, either through the NHS, or through a military charity. The extracted data is being used to explore the types of mental health problems veterans present with, their treatment pathways through care, and their socio-demographic profiles.
Results from the project will enable: (1) an improved understanding of the feasibility of extracting patient data from two different case registers; (2) and an improved understanding of mental health problems, care pathways, and treatment needs for veterans who access secondary mental health care within the UK. These outcomes will benefit a variety of people and organisations, including: (1) the funding body commissioning the study – the Forces in Mind Trust; (2) veterans themselves; and (3) other organisations, agencies, and charities that work closely with veterans – such as the Ministry of Defence, the National Health Service, the Royal British Legion, Veteran’s Aid, and Combat Stress. The project will also inform the possibility of setting up a nationwide study, and subsequently a nationwide database, to house data on veterans’ from across the country.