GPs in East Lancashire have pledged support for serving and retired military personnel and their families.

The East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group has signed up to the Burnley Armed Forces Community Covenant.

It is a pledge of support designed to meet and improve the health needs of the Armed Forces community living in East Lancashire.

Dr Di Van Ruitenbeek said: “This is a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian community – including the health service - and its local Armed Forces Community.

“There is a long standing history of military personnel recruited from East Lancashire to serve in the armed forces.

“We can be justly proud of their contributions in making the world a safer and more secure place.

“There are an estimated 24,000 serving or retired military personnel in East Lancs and it is this sizeable community whose health and wellbeing we are seeking to support.

“Locally our health services, including GPs and specialists, are working hard to meet the specific health needs of armed forces personnel: retired or serving.

“However East Lancashire CCG recognises that we need to do much more to meet the needs of this important community.

“ To this end we have agreed to allocate an additional £100,000 to develop local health services and support for retired and serving military personnel.