Veterans with physical injuries or mental illness attributed to service life are eligible
for priority treatment. Ensuring that veterans are offered priority treatment will
undoubtedly benefit the patient as they will be seen sooner and will be able to begin
the recovery process in a timely manner.
Upon leaving the services, responsibility for the veteran’s healthcare rests with the
NHS. To ensure that veterans are offered priority treatment. Being a veteran does
not automatically warrant priority treatment.
The practice aims to implement policies and procedures that meet the diverse needs
of our service and workforce, ensuring that none are placed at a disadvantage over
others, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Consideration has been given to
the impact this policy might have in regard to the individual protected characteristics
of those to whom it applies.
A veteran is defined as anyone who has served for at least one day in HM Armed
Forces (Regular or Reserve) or Merchant Navy Seafarers and Fishermen who have
served in a vessel at a time when it was operated to facilitate military operations by
HM Armed Forces.
It is the responsibility of the veteran to inform and demonstrate to the practice that they are a military veteran. At Ancora Medical Practice there is a question to determine if patients are veterans on the new patient registration form. If recently discharged, they will be asked to provide details of their previous GP, and medical records will be transferred from Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC).
In accordance with the Armed Forces Covenant, "Veterans receive their healthcare from the NHS, and should receive priority treatment where it relates to a condition which results from their service in the Armed Forces, subject to clinical need. Those injured in Service, whether physically or mentally, should be cared for in a way which reflects the Nation's moral obligation to them whilst respecting the individual's wishes. For those with concerns about their mental health, where symptoms may not present for some time after leaving Service, they should be able to access services with health professionals who have an understanding of Armed Forces culture".
The 2015 update of the NHS Constitution supports the Armed Forces Covenant by stating that "the NHS will ensure that in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, those in the armed forces, reservists, their families and veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the area they reside".
Veterans Trauma Network
The Veterans' Trauma Network, hosted by NHS England, provides specialist care for patients with service-related traumatic injuries and has ten major trauma centres across England. The network acts as a hub with links to other services and charities. The network can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.