Did you know that the NHS in England has dedicated services for those who have served in the UK Armed Forces?
Whilst the NHS is available to everyone, including the Armed Forces community, these services offer ex-forces care and treatment for a range of mental and physical health conditions. They are also provided by military and civilian experts to help ensure that you get the very best care from people who understand your health needs and Armed Forces’ experiences. As part of this dedicated care and support, these services work closely with a range of organisations and charities, including military charities, to support your wider health and wellbeing needs.
Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)
The TILS is for both serving personnel approaching discharge from the military and ex-forces with mental health difficulties. The service provides a range of treatments, 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. Help may also be provided with housing, employment, alcohol misuse, and social support.
Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
The CTS is for ex-forces who have military-related complex mental health difficulties that have not improved with previous treatment. The service provides intensive care and treatment that may include (but is not limited to) support for drug and alcohol misuse, physical health, employment, housing, relationships, and finances, as well as occupational and trauma-focused therapies.
To access these services, you need to contact the TILS. You can do this yourself, or ask your GP or a military charity to refer you: Midlands or East of England, call 0300 323 0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Trauma Network
The Veterans Trauma Network (VTN) provides care and treatment to those with a service-related physical health condition. Available in specialist health centres across England, the VTN works closely with Defence Medical Services, the TILS, and CTS, as well as military charities to provide a complete package of care. Your GP can refer you by emailing email@example.com.
Supporting you and your family to live a healthy life
We know that families can be affected when their loved ones are unwell, so the TILS, CTS and VTN will offer to assess their health and wellbeing needs and where appropriate help them to access local services for care and treatment. With your permission and where appropriate, they will also have the opportunity to be involved in developing your care plan.
Personalised care for veterans
If you have a complex and life-long health condition, you may be eligible for the veterans’ personalised care program. This is about making sure you have more choice and control over how your care is planned and delivered. It is based on what matters to you, meaning that you can choose how best to live your life and get the right support to make this happen. This is set out in a personalised care plan which is developed with you and a range of organisations, including health and social care and military charities. As part of this, you may get a personal budget to pay for some of the care and support you need. You should also get more support in the community and be able to access a range of help, such as emotional and practical support from people who have similar health conditions or disabilities. To find out more, contact your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) or council. Details of your local CCG can be found on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk.
Making sure you get the best care and support
The NHS has launched veteran-aware and veteran-friendly accreditation schemes for GP practices and other NHS services. Accredited services:
- demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
- have designated veterans lead
- train staff in the health needs of ex-forces
- work with a range of organisations, including the NHS veterans services and military charities
- proactively identify ex-forces to ensure the right care and treatment is provided
Please click the link for further information on Veterans Services – Search – NHS (www.nhs.uk).
If you or your family feel that you would benefit from additional support or would like assistance in signposting please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.