What is a veteran?
A veteran is someone who has served in the British Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) for at least one day. Veterans also include any member of the Merchant Marine who has served in a war zone. This includes crew from convoys in World War 2 and more recently in the Falklands conflict and Gulf Wars.
There are around 4.5m veterans in the UK. About 18,000 service people move back into civilian life every year and whilst most of these individuals have similar levels of health to the general population, around 2,000 leave on medical grounds. The top reasons for medical discharge are for issues relating to back, knees, mental health and hearing.
What does this mean for me?
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 for any condition as long as it's related to their service, regardless of whether or not they receive a war pension. Veterans are encouraged to tell their GP about their veteran status in order to benefit from priority treatment if appropriate. Health related issues for veterans can manifest in a number of ways.
Personalised Care for Veterans in England Leaflet
If you are a Military Veteran, please let reception, your GP or nurse know so we can update your medical records.