Anglia Ruskin University
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‘Treat everyone like they’re a man’: Stakeholder perspectives on the provision of health and social care support for female veterans in the UK

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posted on 2023-08-30, 19:40 authored by Lauren Godier-McBard, Nicola Gillin, Matt Fossey
International research suggests that female veterans may experience gender-specific barriers to accessing veteran-specific care. This is the first UK study to report an exploratory qualitative investigation of the provision of health and social care support for female veterans and whether this support meets their needs. The research team carried out 13 virtual semi-structured interviews between October and November 2020, with representatives from statutory and third sector organisations that provide support to UK female veterans. Ethical approval was obtained from the Anglia Ruskin University School of Education and Social Care Research Ethics Committee. The authors identified four overarching themes and nine sub-themes in a thematic analysis following the framework outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006). The findings of this study suggest that practitioners from statutory and third sector organisations perceive the UK veteran support sector as male-dominated and male-targeted, with a lack of consideration for female veterans’ needs. Participants reported a lack of engagement with veteran-specific services by female veterans and suggested that women either do not identify with the ‘veteran’ label or do not feel comfortable accessing male-dominated veteran-specific services. The need for specific services for female veterans split participant opinion, with most of those who were female veterans themselves highlighting the importance of ‘safe spaces’ for women, particularly those who had experienced gender-based violence during military service. Others felt that the veteran support sector currently lacked evidence of women's unique support needs, and an examination of current provision was required. The authors recommend a thorough assessment of UK female veterans’ health and social care needs, alongside development of training and guidance for health and social care professionals, to ensure that veteran services are adequately developed, tailored and targeted with women's needs in mind.



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Health & Social Care in the Community





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Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

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