Support for Military Veterans

Armed Forces Covenant

Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, we recognise that there can sometimes be significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the impact upon families.

In line with the Armed Forces Covenant the NHS has a number of health commitments:

  • The Armed Forces community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area they live.

  • Family members should retain their place on any NHS waiting list, if moved around the UK due to the service person being posted.

  • Veterans should receive priority treatment for a condition which relates to their service, subject to clinical need.

  • Those injured in service should be cared for in a way that reflects the nation’s moral obligation to them, by healthcare professionals who have an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.

Useful contacts for advice, support and signposting

General advice

  • NHS services - this page explains about the main services provided on the NHS, from GPs and dentists to hospital and emergency care.

  • NHS frequently asked questions explains how the NHS can help if you’re in military service, or a veteran.

  • Veterans Gateway Can be a first port of call for veterans and their families seeking help. Will signpost to various organisations. However, there are more specific options below.

Compass
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Finance, housing and employment

  • Help for Heroes has a wide range of services including assistance with your recovery from mental health and physical issues, careers advice, Sports recovery (e.g. Invictus games), “Hidden wounds” (programme for anxiety and alcohol excess) and “Health coaching” (helps get veterans “GP ready” and transfer from military healthcare to NHS).

  • Poppy Factory can offer you help into employment

  • RAF Benevolent Fund is RAF focused and provides financial assistant (pension top-ups, identifying unclaimed benefits etc.), support with care costs (e.g. funding a stairlift), wellbeing breaks, emotional wellbeing (e.g. relate counselling, befriending)

  • Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

    • Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) via Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) can offer an intensive care and treatment that may include support for drug and alcohol misuse, physical health, employment, housing, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma focused therapies.

  • Veterans UK Helpline is ran by The Ministry of Defence, they can provide advice on many issues including benefits, house, and welfare.

 

Mental health

  • Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

    • ​can get you in touch with people who 

      • understand the Armed Forces and military life

      • are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families

      • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment

    • ​can support you with: 

      • transition from military to civilian life by working with Defence Medical Services

      • recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing care and treatment for this

      • therapeutic treatment for more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma

      • intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis

      • helping you to access other NHS services if needed, such as ‘Improving access to psychological therapies’ (IAPT) and eating disorder services

      • working with charities and local organisations to support you with your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support.

    • This is the new name for

      • Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)

      • Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)

      • Veterans'' Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS)

    • ​How to get in  touch (by you, your family or your NHS GP)

  • Big White Wall is a mental health and wellbeing service which has an online community and self-guided support resources.

  • Combat Stress offers helpline and face to face support for veterans and their families, supported by a team of psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, mental health supporters.

  • Help for Heroes– see above

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Physical injury

  • Blesma is for amputee veterans but will also help with sight and hearing loss. It is also open to military widows.

  • Blind Veterans UK is for veterans with sight loss.

  • Veterans Hearing Fund

  • Veterans Trauma Network (VTN) . Linking with TILS, CTS and key military charities, VTN provides care and treatment to those who have been injured during their time in the armed forces, including support for your family.

Children

  • Little Troopers was founded to empower parents, to enable you no matter where in the world you are based to easily access specific resources and initiatives to help you support your little troopers at home.

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Please inform the practice if you;

  • Have served in the Armed Forces (as regular or reserve) for at least one day

  • Are an “ex-service personnel”, or “ex-forces”

  • Are a Merchant Seaman who served in operations by the Armed Forces

  • Are part of a current armed forces family (i.e. spouse/partner/child of currently serving personnel)

Family Walking