Veteran Health

Spinney Surgery has been awarded the Armed Forces Veteran Friendly Accredited GP Practice

This programme supports practices to deliver the best possible care and treatment for patients who have served in the armed forces.

Over 2,300 GP practices in England are already accredited through this programme. We provide accredited practices with access to free online training, support them to identify and code their veteran patients, and offer advice on referrals. While each accredited practice must nominate a clinical lead, training content and activities are suitable for the whole practice to enhance your delivery of veteran healthcare.

This means that Spinney Surgery as part of the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, has a dedicated clinician who has a specialist knowledge of military related health conditions and veteran specific health services. This is important in helping ex-forces to get the best care and treatment. Contact us for more information.

The NHS has a duty to deliver on a number of health commitments in relation to the Armed Forces community (service personnel (regular and reserves), their families and veterans), which are set out in the Armed Forces Covenant and the NHS Constitution.

The NHS Constitution states ‘the NHS will ensure that in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, those in the Armed Forces, reservists, their families and veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the area they reside’.

Mental Health Support

There is growing evidence that a range of mental health conditions may appear (or patients may present) some years after individuals have left the armed forces. These conditions may relate to combat, training or other military experiences, transition out of service or indeed pre-service vulnerabilities.

There are a number of services available to provide support including:

  • Op Courage: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
  • Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)
  • Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
  • The NHS Veterans Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS) for veterans needing urgent help who are in mental health crisis has been trialled in some regions since October 2020. It is now being rolled out across the country as part of a phased approach. Those needing urgent help will receive a same day referral.

Veterans can self-refer or be referred by their GP, a charity or family or friends to access specialist care through this single route of Op Courage see below:

Veterans Trauma Network (VTN)

The following nine Disablement Service Centres (DSCs) were selected to provide this support although veterans are free to attend the NHS DSC of their choice:

  • Bristol – Bristol Centre for Enablement, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Leicester – Leicester Specialist Mobility Centre, provided by Blatchford Clinical Services on behalf of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • Sheffield – Mobility and Specialised Rehabilitation Centre, Northern General Hospital
  • Carlisle – Disablement Services Centre, Cumberland Infirmary, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Preston – Specialist Mobility & Rehabilitation Centre, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Stanmore – Stanmore Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust
  • Portsmouth – Prosthetic Regional Rehabilitation Department, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Birmingham – West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Cambridge – Addenbrooke’s Rehabilitation Clinic, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Personalised care for veterans with a long term physical, mental or neurological health condition or disability

NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with the Ministry of Defence, have published the Personalised care for veterans in England, a guide for clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, which sets out a new personalised care approach for those veterans who have a long term physical, mental or neurological health condition or disability.

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.

Veterans Covenant Health Alliance

The Veterans Covenant Health Alliance is a network of over 30 acute hospitals that have been accredited as exemplars of the best care for veterans, helping to drive improvements in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families.

The ambition is to have 75 NHS providers accredited by the end of 2019, with plans to expand this important initiative to mental health and ambulance trusts.

Mobility Equipment Support

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) provides emotional and practical support to the Armed Forces community when they are on a health care pathway, receiving treatment in hospital, community based health care, or at home. Veterans can be referred to DMWS or can contact DMWS directly.

For more information, visit Defence Medical Welfare Service website.

Other Services

More Information

The Royal College of Practitioners estimates that there are 2.4 million UK Armed Forces veterans in Great Britain, with roughly 18,000 service people moving back into civilian life every year, including 2,000 who leave on medical grounds. In addition to our veterans, there are about 5.4 million adult spouses, partners, widowers and child dependants of veterans, often facing uncertainty, stress and isolation.

When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS. All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care for any condition as long as it’s related to their service, regardless of whether or not they receive a war pension.

At the Spinney, we aim to support and provide high quality care for patients from every walk of life, including the veterans and service personnel in our community who may benefit from additional support and advice.

Resources & Support

• Healthcare for the Armed Forces Community
How the NHS can help if you’re in the British armed forces, a veteran or a family member of someone who is serving or who has served

• Mental health support for serving personnel, reservists and veterans
Information about services providing mental health support to serving members of the forces as well as reservists, leavers and veterans

• Family Federations: Navy | Army | RAF
Information and support to help improve the quality of life for military families around the world

• Veterans Gateway
Information, advice and support for veterans and their families

• Help and support for fallen veterans or service personnel
Information about the services and support available to the families and loved ones of deceased armed forces personnel and veterans.

Armed Forces Form

Please use this form to let us know if you currently serve or have served in the Armed Forces.

DD slash MM slash YYYY
Please tell us if you currently serve or have served in the Armed Forces. Feel free to include any further information you would like us to know.