From 1st January 2008 all military veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces (service-related). However this is always subject to clinical need and does not entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need.
A veteran is defined as: Anyone who has served for at last one day in the Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve), as well as Merchant Navy seafarers and fishermen who have served in a vessel that was operated to facilitate military operations by the Armed Forces.
A new ID card for Armed Forces veterans is being issued to help access specialist support and services. Anyone who has left the military since December 2018 will automatically be given one of the new ID cards. These cards will allow veterans to maintain a tangible like to their career in the forces.
All other veterans will be able to apply for a new ID card by the end of 2019 to mark their time in the armed forces.
For more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-veterans-id-cards-rolled-out-to-service-leavers
Information is also available through the Veterans Gateway: www.veteransgateway.org.uk
PERSONALISED CARE FOR VETERANS
NHS England and NHS Improvement together with the Ministry of Defence have published new guidelines for the personalised care for veterans in England.
Below is a patient leaflet which gives more information. Eligible individuals may have a personalised care plan for all their health and wellbeing needs that is developed with him/her and a range of organisations including health, social care and military charities.
Personalised care for veterans patient information
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR VETERANS
- Contact the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency www.veterans-uk.info or Tel. No. 0800 169 2277 as a one stop shop for all Veteran needs.
- Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committees (VAPCs) are regional, providing help and support to the Service and ex-Service community and making recommendations to all public bodies and the local community on the needs of veterans and their families. You can find out more here: http://www.veterans-uk.info/vets_advisory.html or Tel. No. 0800 169 2277
- The Royal British Legion - www.britishlegion.org.uk - Tel. No. 08457 725 725
- Confederation of Service Charities - www.cobseo.org.uk - Tel. No. 0845 504 6630
- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help - www.ssafa.org.uk - Tel. No 0845 1300 975
- MOD Personnel MOD Medal Office (JPA Enquiry Centre) - Tel. No. 0141 224 3600
- MOD Health Gulf Veterans Helpline - Tel. No. 0800 169 4495
- Charitable Health Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) - Tel. No. 01372 841600 - https://www.combatstress.org.uk/help-you
Contact is a group of charitable support and state organisations that have joined forces to enhanced mental health support available to the Armed Forces Community. This includes Big White Wall, Cobseo, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion, Walking with the Wounded, the NHS, the MOD, the UK Psychological Trauma Society and Kings College London. For more information visit the Contact website: Contact Armed Forces Support
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Services
If you have acquired hearing loss and/or tinnitus relating to your time in service, additional support can be funded through The Royal British Legion Veterans' Hearing Fund. To access this you can be referred to the local NHS audiology Department or you can download an application form:
VHF eligibility application form
Veterans Hearing Fund
Mobility Equipment Support
The Royal British Legion has a Veterans' Mobility Fund which provides specialist wheelchairs, orthotic equipment and other mobility related items for veterans who have a service related serious physical injury and whose needs cannot be met through statutory services. Eligibility requires the condition to be attributable to service and typically applicants will be in receipt of a War Pension or relevant award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
For more information click on the link below:
Veterans Mobility Fund
For more information click on the links below:
Armed Forces Covenant
NHS Choices - Military Health
NHS Choices Additional Help
Mental Health Services for Veterans
Veterans Trauma Network
ARMED FORCES COVENANT
If the NHS service you are dealing with is unaware of priority treatment, you are actively encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have told them that you have served. Failing that, you can enlist local health care commissioners, your local authority community covenant lead, or one of the national service organisations, such as the Royal British Legion, to support you.
For more information on the duty of care owed to service personnel, read the Armed Forces Covenant (PDF, 919kb).
Military Covenant Serving Personnel
Military Covenant Families
Military Covenant Veterans