NHS Care for the Armed Forces Communtiy

MAY 2021

The NHS is responsible for providing all hospital and most community services for serving personnel (except for mental health,general practice and rehabilitation services). The NHS also provides nearly all community, general practice and hospital services for the families of serving personnel, reservists and veterans. Included as part of this are the following dedicated services and initiatives to support the Armed Forces community.

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is the new overarching name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS). The service provides a broad range of specialist mental health and wellbeing care and support for Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families. Further information and contact details
for Op COURAGE in each region are available on the NHS website.

Veterans Trauma Network (VTN)
The VTN provides care and treatment to those with a service-attributable physical health condition. Located in 12 major trauma centres (Plymouth, Oxford, London (three centres), Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Cambridge, Brighton and Middlesbrough), with links to five specialist NHS trusts (Frimley Park, Preston, Salisbury, East Grinstead), the network works closely with Defence Medical Services, national centres of clinical expertise, Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health
and Wellbeing Service, as well as military charities, to provide a complete package of care. It is run largely by healthcare professionals who are either veterans or serving personnel. GPs can email england.veteranstraumanetwork@nhs.net to refer veterans to the service.


Veterans Prosthetics Panel (VPP)
The VPP provides funding on a named veteran basis to NHS Disablement Service Centres (DSC) to ensure that veterans who have service related limb loss can access high quality prosthetics regardless of which DSC they attend. More information here.

Armed Forces personnel in transition: Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans Framework (IPC4V)
IPC4V is a personalised care approach for serving personnel who have complex and enduring physical, neurological and mental health conditions that are attributable to injury whilst in service. It provides a framework for effectively planning and delivering personalised care in line with the Armed Forces Covenant. Central to this is an improved discharge planning process, starting approximately nine months before these individuals leave the military. This means that the MOD, health and social care, Armed Forces charities and other organisations involved in the care of these individuals are brought together at an earlier point in the care pathway, ensuring care and support arrangements are in place as they transition to civilian life and beyond. Personalised care for veterans with a long term physical, mental or neurological health condition or disability Ex-forces with a complex and life-long health condition may be eligible for the veterans personalised care programme. Eligible
individuals will have a single personalised care plan for all their health and wellbeing needs that is developed with them and a range of organisations, including health and social care and military charities. To apply, individuals should contact their local clinical commissioning group.

Veteran friendly GP practice accreditation
Over the next few years, NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with the Royal College of General Practitioners, are rolling out the veteran friendly GP practice accreditation scheme across England. This scheme, which is intended to help ensure practices are equipped to best care for veterans and their families, has already accredited over 950 surgeries.

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA)
The VCHA aims to improve NHS care for the Armed Forces community by supporting trusts, health boards and other providers to identify, develop and showcase the best standards of care. To date, 58 trusts have been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’, having demonstrated their commitment to eight core manifesto standards, including signing the Armed Forces Covenant, raising awareness of veterans’ healthcare needs among staff, and establishing links with local support providers.
For further information, email england.armedforceshealth@nhs.net or visit the NHS website

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