Military Veterans

Priority NHS care for veterans

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day, and there are around 4.5m veterans in the UK.

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 hospital care for any condition, as long as it’s related to their service, whether or not they receive a war pension. 

All people leaving the armed forces are given a summary of their medical records, which they are advised to give to their new GP when they register. 

Veterans are encouraged to tell their GP about their veteran status in order to benefit from priority treatment. 

A minority of people leaving the armed forces need access to mental health services; others might require it later in civilian life.

Mental health

Six community-based mental health pilot schemes have been launched in Stafford, Camden and Islington, Cardiff, Bishop Auckland, Plymouth and Edinburgh. The scheme provides expert NHS treatment. 

For veterans who don’t live near one of these places, they can access the Medical Assessment Programme (MAP), which is available to veterans deployed on operations since 1982.

MAP offers comprehensive physical and mental health assessments for veterans who feel that their condition may be linked to military service.  

Veterans can enter the community-based schemes through a number of routes:

  • Ask to be referred by their GP.
  • Self-register with the scheme directly.
  • Friends and families of veterans can contact the scheme.
  • Ask to be referred by the Veterans Welfare Service or by charities who help servicemen and women

Click on link below to access referral form to Greater Manchester West Mental Health Services:

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