Our PCN is Veteran Friendly

Our PCN is Veteran Friendly

The NHS in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is working towards approving NHS GP practices in England as veteran-friendly accredited. To date, in excess of 1000 practices are now veteran-friendly accredited, accounting for 14% of all practices in England.

We at the North Arden PCN are proud that all three of our associated surgeries are veteran friendly accredited and keen to support our Armed Forces community. This means we have a dedicated Clinician who has a specialist knowledge of service-related health conditions and veteran specific health services. This is important in helping Veterans to get the best care and treatment. The established veteran health clinical lead for our PCN is Luke Sadler our Health and Wellbeing Coach.

Being accredited means that a practice can better identify and treat veterans, refer them, where appropriate, to dedicated NHS services (such as the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison service (TILS), the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veterans Trauma Network). It also means that the NHS is better able to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, whereby the Armed Forces community, including veterans, should face no disadvantage in accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions, subject to clinical need. Please click HERE to read the patient charter for veterans.

Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the associated impact for individuals and their families. These differences can be reflected in the way in which healthcare is delivered, the range and types of some specific services provided and the long-term impact upon patients and families.

To read more about the personalised care available for veterans and their families please click on the link below.

For some top tips for veterans and how they can get the most from their GP please click on the link below.

A veteran is anyone who has served a day or more in the UK Armed Forces, whether as a regular or reservist and can be of any age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality. There are 1.74 million in England and research shows that many may be silently struggling with physical or mental health problems as they worry that they won’t be understood by civilian health and care professionals.

The nation regards its veterans highly and they are recognised by NHS England as a ‘special group’ within the general population. NHS England seeks to ensure that veterans are always considered when commissioning services.

All military veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces. However, this is always subject to clinical need and does not entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need.

An ID card for armed forces veterans is being issued to help access specialist support and services. These cards will allow veterans to maintain a tangible link to their career in the forces.

For more information, please see Veterans’ Gateway.

If you are ex forces or a member of your family is, please let your GP know to help ensure you are getting the best possible care. This can be done by clicking on the appropriate link below and filling out a short form.

You may be worried about sharing information about your time in the Armed Forces. Please note that the NHS is bound by a confidentiality code of practice to ensure GPs, nurses and other people working within the NHS deliver a confidential service bound by law.

There are a wide variety of services and charities that offer help to veterans and their families to facilitate them living their best lives. Please see the options below for a selection of useful sites.

  • SSAFA (SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is a UK charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents. They give individual help, support and guidance either personally or over the phone.)
  • The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service (The Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) Service (formerly known as London Veterans’ Service (LVS) is a free NHS mental health service for all ex-serving members of the UK Armed Forces and service personnel who are making the transition to civilian life including reservists. They work with any veterans’ and those transitioning from military to civilian who live in London, Greater London, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Medway or are registered with a GP in these areas. They work with veterans’ who are experiencing mental health, addiction and general wellbeing issues, based at St. Pancras Hospital.)
  • Royal British Legion (the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, with 180,000 members, 110,000 volunteers and a network of partners and charities; helping us give support wherever and whenever it’s needed.)
  • Help For Heroes (Life can be tough when a military career comes to an end, especially if it has been cut short by illness or injury. Overnight, people lose not only their job, but also a support network that is like family.)
  • NHS UK (Provides information and links towards helping Veterans make the most of resources within the NHS.)
  • Veterans Gateway (Are the first point of contact for you and your loved ones. They can be contacted 24/7 for help across housing, mental wellbeing, finances and more.)
  • Blind Veterans UK (Blind Veterans UK helps vision-impaired ex-Servicemen and women to rebuild their lives after sight loss. They provide rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to veterans regardless of how or when they lost their sight.)
  • Veteran Aware (The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers – including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance trusts – who have agreed to be exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces community (be they Regular, Reserves, Veterans, spouses or dependants).
  • Blesma (Blesma supports limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Blesma are dedicated to assisting serving and ex-service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight. They support these men and women in their communities throughout the UK and provide centralised assistance to those living overseas.)
  • Combat Stress (Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. They provide free specialised clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health conditions. Combat Stress has a strategic partnership with the MOD and the Department of Health.)
  • Forces Online (Help and assistance for Armed Forces Veterans by offering a sign posting service to expert support providers for their benefit.)
  • Veterans UK (Gov.co.uk website associated with the ministry of defence that provides free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline, Veterans Welfare Service, Defence Transition Services and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.)
  • Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is an independent charity providing medical welfare to those who have, and continue to, serve on the frontline.)
  • NHS UK Veterans (a guide to NHS healthcare for the armed forces community.)
  • Op COURAGE (Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.)
  • STOLL (Provides housing and support services to help veterans live independently.)
  • Walking with the Wounded (Walking with the Wounded offers support services for a range of issues, such as mental health, employment, criminal justice and addiction.)
  • Fighting With Pride (Fighting with Pride advise on how to get help and provide information for LGBT+ members of the armed forces community.)
  • Step Into Health (Through Step into Health, members of the Armed Forces community can connect to NHS organisations to set up training opportunities, clinical and general work placements, insight days and receive application support.)
  • Association of Service Drop in Centres (ASDIC) (Sometimes called Hubs or Centres, Drop-Ins offer a variety of welfare and mental health support, together with comradeship and a sense of well-being, to the ex-military community and their families, and ASDIC helps them to enhance the service they can provide and make them more accessible.)
  • Defence Gardens Scheme (A national network of gardens which host the delivery and evaluation of nature-based therapy for Armed Forces Service Leavers and Veterans and their families.)
  • Enhanced Learning Credits (The ELC Scheme promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. Providing financial support, the scheme enables higher level learning of a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above.)
  • Little Troopers (Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all military children who have parent(s) serving in our British Armed Forces, regular or reserve.)
  • Naval Families Federation (Advice and support to empower RN and RM families.)
  • Scotty’s Little Soldiers (A charity dedicated to supporting bereaved military children and young people.)
  • The Ripple Pond (Supporting adult family members of physically or psychologically injured British Armed Forces personnel and veterans.)
  • The Career Transition Partnership (Supports leavers of the Armed Forces as they transition from the military into civilian life.)
  • DWP Veterans (Armed forces access to Jobcentre Plus and Department for Work and Pensions services)
  • Forces Families Jobs (Apply for jobs and access employment and training opportunities with companies and organisations who are Forces family friendly.)
  • Lifeworks (A free employment support programme which equips veterans and family members of those currently serving with the tools needed to find meaningful employment outside the armed forces.)
  • Forces Employment Charity (Provides life-long, life-changing support, jobs and training opportunities to Service leavers, veterans, reservists and their spouses, partners and children, regardless of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving.)
  • The Poppy Factory (Supports veterans with health conditions and their families into employment.)
  • Care After Combat (UK based charity providing support within the Justice System for the well-being of former British Armed Forces personnel and their Families.
  • Salute Her (Provides trauma informed therapy to support women veterans with lived experience of sexual assault and associated trauma.)
  • Building Heroes (Helping those that have kept us safe with a seamless transition into the civilian workplace through training leading to a gateway of construction employment opportunities. Any queries should be sent to Danielle (Academy Manager) [email protected])
  • The Warrior Programme (The programme is designed to support individuals in developing their resilience and build mental strength through workshops, residentials or online courses. The programme has been developed over the last fifteen years to meet the demands and challenges experienced by past and present members of the armed forces and their families.

As a PCN we have pledged to support our ex-military as best we can. We would like to encourage all our veterans to come forward and identify yourselves, so we can offer you enhanced support.

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs

This service facilitates veterans and serving Armed Forces personnel to meet face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment to enjoy breakfast and banter, to combat loneliness and allow veterans to ”return to the tribe”)

To view the AFVBC website and read more about what they do please take a look at the links below.

The Middlemarch Farm in Nuneaton hosts a local breakfast club, they are a great group full of community spirit. They will even pay for members taxi who have no means of transport. If would like to take a look at their website or follow them on Facebook please check out the link below.


AdFam is a service providing one to one support via Zoom or telephone for family members of veterans and serving military personnel with substance abuse problems. This service is completely free and confidential.

The service is open to any adult family member affected by the substance use of someone who has or is currently serving in the British armed forces and also has drug or alcohol problems. This includes partners, parents, siblings, adult children, grandparents, step-parents or any other family relationship.

To self-refer to the service please follow the relevant link below.

The service provides twelve one to one sessions, usually weekly, with a qualified and experienced family support professional, who is trained to understand the specific circumstances of military families.

Adfam knows that the loved ones of those with drug or alcohol problems often suffer as a result and need support in their own right to cope with the impacts on them, manage their relationships and thrive.

Alcohol and Women Veterans Study Call for Participants

Please see the flyer below for further information about this call for participants from the King’s Centre for Military Health Research.

Veteran’s Habit Study Call for Participants

The Veterans’ Habit Study is a UK Veterans research project that aims to discover the destructive attitudes and behaviours leading to dysfunction and addictions, primarily gambling addiction. Their focus is on understanding patterns and causes to develop future preventative/intervention measures within the British Armed Forces and MOD.  The survey is being conducted by researchers from the School of Psychology, Swansea University and the Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University.

Any questions relating to the study should be directed to: [email protected] 

If you are ex-service personnel interested in taking part please click on the link below take a look at their flyer.

Transitioning to Civilian Life Research Study Call for Participants

King’s College London are running a study looking at ex-service personnel experiences when leaving the military and transitioning to civilian life. To participate or if you have any questions, please contact them directly at [email protected]. For Details about this study please take a look at the flyer below.

E-Plaster Project: NuTissu

NuTissu are working on a project funded by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to look at chronic wounds and would like to hear from members from the Armed Forces community or staff who are dealing with chronic wounds, either as a result of direct physical injury, infection of a wound, a wound resulting from or related to prosthetics (please see attached flyer).  Any queries should be addressed to either [email protected] or [email protected]