Specialist support for veterans across whole of NHS

NHS leaders have pledged to make specialist health support for veterans available in every part of the health service across the country.

The pledge follows NHS England’s confirmation that every part of the country now has dedicated mental health services up and running for veterans and NHS Improvement announcing the first 25 hospitals to become ‘Veteran Aware’. The three announcements together will help ensure that those who have served in the armed forces have the best possible experience of the NHS and get the best care, regardless of whether they get help from their GP, a hospital or a specialist service.

5,000 ex-personnel have been referred to the NHS ‘Transition, Intervention and Liaison’ service (TILS) since it was launched in April 2017, which tackles early signs of mental health difficulties and helps them settle back into civilian life.

To mark the Armistice centenary, NHS leaders have called on every NHS hospital and service to get accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’ under the national scheme. Over 100 GP surgeries are now ‘Veteran Friendly’ with more signing up as this rolled out across England.

Kate Davies, NHS England’s Director of Armed Forces said: “Our armed forces and our NHS are rightly a source of immense pride for our country, and we’re committed to delivering a health service fit for former troops and their families. Remembrance Day gives us the chance to reflect on those who have bravely fought for our country and offers an important opportunity to remind them that there is always help available.

“The NHS is committed to ensuring that every veteran gets the best possible care and thousands are now benefiting from early access to mental health support which evidence shows is more effective. Ahead of the publication of the long term plan later this year, today’s commitments will ensure that ex-Armed Forces get the specialist care and support they need, while having the best possible experience of the NHS, no matter which service they use.”

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