Documents to download

This note covers the current policies on healthcare services for ex-service personnel, including priority access to NHS services and the provision of dedicated mental health services for veterans. The note also provides a list of useful links and contacts.

Approximately 22,000 Armed Forces personnel leave Service and return to civilian life each year and there are an estimated 5 million veterans in the UK. Both the previous Government and the current Government have recognised that physical injuries and mental health issues can create additional healthcare needs for some veterans.

On 6 October 2010 the MOD published a review of mental health services for serving personnel and veterans, carried out by Dr Andrew Murrison MP. The Government committed to acting on the recommendations of the review and, as a first step, announced two initiatives: a dedicated 24-hour support line for veterans and the provision of 30 additional mental health nurses to specifically support veterans.

On 16 May 2011 the Government published the first Armed Forces Covenant and a document outlining the measures it intended to put in place over the next few years in order to support that Covenant. This document proposes a number of further measures to improve veterans’ access to healthcare services, and mental health services in particular. Further information is available from Library briefing paper SN05979, Armed Forces Covenant.

This note applies to the situation in England and does not cover the provision of healthcare to serving armed forces personnel.

Documents to download

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