In the United Kingdom, a veteran is defined as anyone who has at least served one day in the armed forces or the reserves. Anyone who served aboard on a sea vessel that was used in a military operation is also considered a veteran. There are around five million veterans in the United Kingdom. Learn more about the UK VA administration and veterans' administration in this article.
Leaving the Armed Forces
When men and women leave the Armed Forces, their health is managed by the National Health Service. For any condition that needs treatment and is related to their service, veterans receive priority access to hospital care in a VA hospital, veteran's hospital or any other hospital. Whether or not you are receiving a war pension will have no bearing on this priority care. This care includes diagnosing and treating conditions as well as providing any equipment or aids.
When servicemen or servicewomen leave the armed forces, they need to register with a GP, General Practitioner, so that they can take advantage of their priority status. Upon discharge, they will receive a summary of their health history and information on how their GP can get their medical records. Disability If you were disabled during your service and you receive a pension, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, or SPVA, may be able to help you with the costs of medical treatment. For items that are needed to assist you, like specialised bathroom equipment or a stair lift, the SPVA can help you with the application process at your local social services.
If you need the services of a nursing home, you can get assistance from the Ex-Services Homes Referral Agency or ESHRA. They have a listing of all the facilities that care for ex-service personnel, including respite and convalescent care.
Mental health programmes
For mental health issues and treatment, there are six programmes around the UK in Bishop Auckland, Camden, Islington, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Plymouth, and Stafford. If you do not live near one of these places, you can contact the Medical Assessment Programme, or MAP, which is available to veterans who served in the years after 1982. MAP can assess both physical and mental health concerns.
Community-based programme Another option for veterans is the community-based programme. You can register directly with these programmes or be referred to by your GP, friends, family members, the Veterans Welfare Service, or charities that assist veterans.