A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve. It means the same as ‘ex service personnel’ or ‘ex-forces’, although not all veterans know, choose or want to associate with the term ‘veteran’. This is particularly the case amongst younger veterans who often refer to themselves as ‘ex-forces’, due to the common belief that a veteran is someone who fought in the First / Second World War.
Whilst many aspects of the health needs of veterans are the same as for the general public, there are sometimes significant differences, particularly in relation to conditions attributable to service life and the impact upon families.
It is the policy of Amicus Health to deliver on the principles set out in the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure the ongoing health needs of veterans are met. This is reflected in principle four of the NHS Constitution, which states ‘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’.
On registering new patients, administrative staff should ensure the new patient records are created using the Read Code 'military veteran'.
Clinical Staff should be aware of the dedicated NHS services and support available to veterans.
The NHS provides mental and physical health support for veterans, and there are also many charities and other organisations which may be able to help.