Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Armed Forces Community Panel - Public Health Dorset


Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Armed Forces Community Panel

System challenges

The system challenges for Armed Forces in our communities is illustrated below. This work in progress identifies a number of underlying causal factors that we believe influence the delivery of services for serving personnel, their families, veterans and/or families. The identified desired changes were a smoother transition form the armed forces, easier transition for children of armed forces personnel when moving, increased external understanding and recognition and families supported during relationship breakdown. 

The map below illustrates our Armed Forces system challenges, developed at a workshop on the 5th November 2019. Public Health Dorset facilitated workshops to help develop shared-understanding across Our Dorset towards a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment process. The map was reviewed and updated at a second workshop on 5th December 2019.

Particpants from the following organisations were in attendance: British Legion, Citizen's Advice Bureau, Defence Medical Welfare Service, Dorset Police, Help For Heroes, Littletroopers,  BCP Council, Dorset CCG, Dorset Council, Dorset Healthcare, Naval Families Federation, Public Health Dorset, Veterans Hub Weymouth.

The embedded Kumu map, below, is interactive:

  • hover the mouse over an element of interest to see its immediate relationships
  • left click and hold to refocus the map on that element
  • to return to the wider map, left click and hold on any ‘white space’ in the map.

For greater interactivity and access to side panels containing additional information and links, follow the link under the embedded Kumu map (how do I read a systems map).

Armed Forces system map in Kumu

The deep structure appears to be around knowledge and access to services for serving personnel, their families, veterans and/or their families. This could be caused by poor or unplanned transition, institutionalisation or transience. Health and wellbeing outcomes including mental health are impacted upon throughout each loop and is a cross-cutting theme.

Logic model

This is the Armed Forces Community Panel logic model. These services and the outcomes they are trying to achieve are illustrated here at a high level. This work in progress identifies several key services and a wide range of sought after outcomes including improved health and wellbeing, supported and empowered familiies and reduced social isolation.

The embedded Kumu map, below, is interactive. Hover the mouse over an element of interest to see its immediate relationships; left-click-and-hold to refocus the map on that element. To return to the wider map, left-click-and-hold on any ‘white space’ in the map. For greater interactivity and access to side panels containing additional information and links, follow the link under the embedded Kumu map (how do I read a logic model).

Armed Forces logic model in Kumu

Triangle of need

The number of people across Our Dorset in the Armed Forces has not yet been represented by the Triangle of Need.


Evidence base

Desired system change

Status: Key areas have been identified by the panel as having potential impactr on the system challenges identified in the workshop process.

Smoother transition from Armed Forces:

  • Information and advice for families given earlier
  • Work with the military to understand the information they are giving
  • Planning for transition from the military
  • Link employers signed up to Armed Forces Covenant with veterans
  • Qualification translation from miltary to civilian career
  • Contact service leavers after six months
  • Education through library hubs on how things work e.g., using the NHS
  • Transition app and diary so that people can see what has been done and by who
  • Financial empowerment three tier approach (basic budgeting, price comparisons, maintaining budget)
  • Befriending/peer mentoring scheme

Easier transition for children moving:

  • Unit family officers engaging with families
  • Identify military children
  • Building resilience programmes for military children
  • Work with education providers to ensure no drop in provision
  • Work with admissions teams to place siblings in same school
  • Education passport with an holistic view
  • Make parents aware of pupil premium so they can ensure the school is using it
  • Specialist education advice for Armeds Forces Community

Increased external understanding and recognition

  • Improve education for service providers in Armed Forces
  • Educate general puplic to change perceptions of Armed Forces Community
  • Train public services re: the Covenant
  • Armed Forces Covenant guide
  • Increase knowlege of resettlement subjects and how we can link up
  • Increase knowlege with providers of what benefits are available to service leavers
  • Veteran friendly GP practices model

Families supported during relationship breakdown

  • Improve information available to spouses/partners during/after relationship breakdown.

Key questions/Knowledge gaps

The key questions raised to futher knowledge around the desired system changes were:

Smoother transition from the Armed Forces:

  • What works to influence wider locality?
  • What different modules would be needed and how can this be resourced?
  • Are there opportunities to join up with existing services?
  • How many public sector employees are veterans?
  • What funding opportunities are available?
  • What does a good model look like?
  • Why don't people engage with the transition programmes?
  • What are the different experiences of transition for single people or families
  • Reporting on veteran's suicides
  • Who are the people that left before transition programmes were available

Easier transition for childing moving:

  • Do we know who the children of serving personnel are?
  • Do we know the flow of children in and out of Dorset?
  • How do children feel about transcience?
  • Are there more SEND children in armed forces families? 
  • Are mental health statistics for children higher amongst this community?
  • What do schools need to know about armed forces children to help them? 

Families supported during relationship breakdown:

  • Are spouses/partners still covered under Armed Forces Covenant after relationship breakdown?
  • At what point during or after transition is the peak in relationship breakdown?

Additional input: We welcome further input — both from Panel and non-panel members.

Next steps

  1. Creating a matrix with the themes and subthemes
  2. Thinking about each subtheme in terms of the following: Are we already working in this area, if so who is responsible and what is happening? So people can be signposted to the right place at the right time. Are we doing it as well as we could be and, if not why and whay do we need to do better? Are we not doing it at all and, if so, what do we need to do about it? 
  3. Set the priorities going forward
  4. Ensure everything is based on emerging policy e.g., Veterans Strategy
  5. Return in a year's time and see whether we have made a difference and perhaps re-run the JSNA workshop with a focus on areas that are still struggling or new areas that have come into focus.

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