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Veterans Healthcare


All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time within the armed forces (service-related)

Veterans: Priority NHS Treatment
A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least 1 day. There are around 2.6 million veterans in the UK.After leaving the armed forces, the healthcare of veterans is the responsibility of the NHS.Telling the GP practice about veteran status will trigger the transfer of full medical documentation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the GP, and enable benefits from veteran-specific services like prosthetics and mental health.
All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time within the armed forces (service-related).Priority is always subject to clinical need.For more information on the duty of care owed to service personnel, read the Armed Forces Covenant (PDF, 919kb).
Improving Care for Severely Injured Veterans

NHS England hosts the Veterans Trauma Network, which aims to provide specialist care for patients with service-related traumatic injuries.

The network comprises of 10 major trauma centres across England:

  • Plymouth
  • Oxford
  • London (3 centres)
  • Birmingham
  • Nottingham
  • Liverpool
  • Leeds
  • Middlesborough

The network acts as a regional hub for veteran care, linking with NHS veterans mental health services, national centres of expertise and key service charities to provide a complete package of care.

Patients referred to the service have a personalised treatment plan developed and provided by a specialist team of military and civilian experts in trauma. As part of this, the needs of families and carers are also considered.

If you’re supporting a veteran or veterans who you feel may benefit from referral to this service, BLESMA is the umbrella charity for the veterans trauma network and can be contacted by:

Referrals to the network can also be made via a GP, Blind Veterans UKand Style for Soldiers.

For further information on the service or referrals, email:

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

A dedicated local-community-based service for veterans and those transitioning out of the armed forces with a discharge date.

Provides a range of treatment, from recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma.

Where appropriate, help is also provided for other needs that may affect mental health and wellbeing – for example, with housing, finances, employment, social support and reducing alcohol consumption.

NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)

An enhanced local-community-based service for ex-service personnel who have military-related complex mental health problems that haven’t improved with earlier care and treatment.

Provides intensive care and treatment including, but not limited to, support for drug and alcohol misuse, physical health, employment, housing, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma-focused therapies.

Accessing NHS mental health care for veterans

To access these services, you need to go through the TILS. This can be done by contacting the service directly, or by asking the GP or a military charity to refer.

Referral requirements:
  • Resident in England
  • Served in the UK armed forces for a full day
  • Registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP
  • Able to provide military service number or another acceptable form of proof of eligibility

Upon receipt of referral, patients will be offered an initial face-to-face assessment within 2 weeks and, where appropriate, a first clinical appointment 2 weeks after that.

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