- A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day, and there are around 4.5 million veterans in the United Kingdom (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 hospital care for any condition, as long as it’s related to their service, whether or not they receive a war pension.
- All people leaving the armed forces are given a summary of their medical records, which they are advised to give to their new GP when they register.
- Veterans are encouraged to tell their GP about their veteran status in order to benefit from priority treatment.
- A minority of people leaving the armed forces need access to mental health services; others might require it later in civilian life.
Are you a military veteran? If so please let us know as you may be eligible for priority care.
Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme (VRMHP)
Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Program provides mental health examinations for all veterans with operational service since 1982 (including veterans of the Falklands Conflict).
The VRMHP is located at Department of Community Mental Health, Chilwell, Chetwind, Nottingham NG9 5HA. The facility is headed by a Consultant Psychiatrist with access to a wide range of military experience and knowledge of military health matters within the Ministry of Defence. Veterans with operational service since 1982 who feel they would benefit from seeing the MAP (Medication Administration Program) Consultant should seek a referral via their General Practitioner.
What is the purpose of the VRMHP?
The MAP investigates patients’ mental health concerns and, so far as possible, it provides a diagnosis if the veteran has a mental health disorder, and recommends appropriate management if required. Advice will also be provided on the extensive support network that is available to veterans and their families in the UK.
How to refer patients to the VRMHP
Doctors are encouraged to refer any patients who are concerned that their mental health may have suffered as a result of their military service and who fulfil the criteria for being seen. General Practitioners wishing to refer a patient should contact the VRMHP at the following address:
Department of Community Mental Health, Chilwell, Chetwind, Nottingham NG9 5HA
General Practitioners or veterans requiring further information about the service provider can contact the VRMHP on Freephone: 0800 138 1619 or refer to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services (where appropriate).
The Ministry of Defence is able to assist with travel costs for those attending the MAP from within the UK but veterans should always confirm travel arrangements with the MAP prior to making their journey.
Major A&E departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness,
- pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia,
- acute confused state,
- persistent, severe chest pain, or
- breathing difficulties.
If you’re injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in England. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E department.
Once you’re at an A&E department, a doctor or nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action. You may have to wait a short while before you are seen. There is an operational standard in place for A&E services, where 98% of people attending A&E should be seen, diagnosed and treated within four hours of arrival, to help ensure that the care is timely.
The Veterans Health Organisations section on this website has lots of useful links to help you.