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Veterans’ Healthcare

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The nation regards its veterans highly and they are recognised by NHS England as a ‘special group’ within the general population. A veteran is anyone who has served for one day in His Majesty’s Armed Forces (regular or reserve). NHS England seeks to ensure that veterans are always considered when commissioning services.

Veteran Friendly Practice Accreditation Programme

To support primary care and ensure that GPs are equipped to best serve our veterans and their families, NHS England is supporting the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in the delivery of the Veteran Friendly Practice Accreditation Programme. 

More details on the Veterans' healthcare toolkit: Veteran friendly GP practice accreditation programme can be found on the RCGP website.

To gain both practice and patient perspective on what it means to be an accredited practice, the Becoming an RCGP Armed Forces Veteran Friendly Practice - Q&A short film answers many FAQs.

National clinical and social referral pathways

To further support the veteran community NHS England has invested heavily, as part of the Long Term Plan, in bespoke clinical and social referral pathways to support veterans in the transition into civilian life and beyond. Those pathways include the following clinical and social referral options.

  • Op COURAGE The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service - London and the South East.
  • Op RESTORE Previously known as the Veterans Trauma Service, designed to assist veterans who were injured during service.
  • Op COMMUNITY (web page not yet active) A network of public and third sector organisations who provide welfare, social advice and support to veterans.
  • Op NOVA  A network of support that focusses on veterans within the criminal justice system.
  • Op FORTITUDE A bespoke homelessness pathway that ensures every veteran at risk of homelessness has somewhere to turn.
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RCGP Armed Forces veteran friendly practice accreditation (RCGP, August 2023)

Review date: Wednesday, 31 July 2024