Veterans

Veterans

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day. There are around 2.8m 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 care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces (service related).  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.  For more information on the duty of care owed to service personnel, read the Armed Forces Covenant (PDF)

Most British military personnel do not experience mental health problems while they are in service, or afterwards in civilian life.  However they face unique risks in service and, if they do experience mental health problems, they may require particular treatments and particular mental health services.  Click here for more information.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a problem for a minority of Veterans. Around 1 in 25 Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are likely to develop PTSD, similar to that in the general public. However, while the rate of occurrence is similar, the complexity of the disorder tends to be much greater in Veterans. Furthermore, it often occurs alongside other medical problems such as pain, disability and substance misuse, particularly alcohol misuse.
Combat Stress – Myth Busters

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