Support for veterans and the armed forces community

As a Trust we are committed to supporting veterans and the armed forces community and align our values with the Armed Forces Covenant. 

Please let us know if you or your spouse/partner have ever served in the UK armed forces so that we can best support your care needs.

Being flagged as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will help ensure you are able to access specific veterans’ health services, such as those for mental health, hearing loss, limb amputation and wheelchairs. All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time in the armed forces (service-related). Please note this is always subject to clinical need and will not entitle you to be prioritised ahead of someone with a greater clinical need.

For more information, please see our  Support veterans poster [pdf] 231KB

Support for veterans and the armed forces community

South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) has affirmed its support to the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant.

The Corporate Covenant commits the Trust to upholding the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

  • no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

It also means the Trust will demonstrate its support by:

  • Ensuring that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients, in line with the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Training relevant staff on veteran-specific culture or needs
  • Making veterans, reservists and service families aware of appropriate charities or NHS services beneficial to them, such as mental health services or support with financial and/or benefit claims
  • Supporting the armed forces as an employer.

Veterans are defined as anyone who has served for at least one day in His Majesty’s Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or Merchant Mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations.

Veteran Aware 

We are proud to be working towards being Veteran Aware 

We are proud to be working towards being a Veteran Aware Trust. This accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) will recognises our commitment to driving improvements in care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families, as well as supporting the armed forces as an employer.

For more information visit - Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance – Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (veteranaware.nhs.uk)

Services Providing Help and Support

The Veterans’ Gateway is a first point of contact for veterans and your families, and can put you in touch with both national and local organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support you may need.

The Veterans’ Gateway can be contacted 24/7 by telephone (0808 802 1212), by text (81212) or online at www.veteransgateway.org.uk

Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to support those who are currently serving or have served in the armed forces and their families. This website provides useful links to support and advice including financial, housing, education, training and employment plus a lot more https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk/support-and-advice/veterans/

Op COURAGE - veterans mental health and wellbeing service

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

It doesn’t matter if you’re due to leave the Armed Forces, just left the Armed Forces or left many years ago, we are here to help and we understand the courage it takes to speak to someone.

When you contact us, you will speak to people who:

· Understand the Armed Forces and military life

· Are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families

· Will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment

 

 Other services 

  • Veterans’ Trauma Network the Veterans’ Trauma Network provides specialist care to veterans with service-specific injuries. Veterans benefit from a personalised care plan implemented by top military and civilian trauma experts in health centres across England.  Referrals can be made via your GP at england.veteranstraumanetwork@nhs.netFor more information, email Blesma at bsoprosthetics@blesma.org or call 0208 548 7080.
  • Combat Stress (www.combatstress.org.uk) Provides information on living with PTSD and a confidential helpline for veterans, families and carers. The website provides details of local outreach centres for veterans or their families to get in touch with if they need support in person. 24-hour helpline: 0800 138 1619
  • SSAFA (www.ssafa.org.uk) Information for veterans and their families, providing support on issues such as housing and benefits. Also, provide information over the phone: 0845 241 7141
  • The Royal British Legion (www.britishlegion.org.uk) Offers welfare support for veterans and their family members nationwide: 0808 802 8080
  • Veterans Aid (www.veterans-aid.net) Offers support with accommodation, substance misuse and other welfare issues: 0800 012 68 67 or 020 7828 2468
  • STOLL (www.stoll.org.uk) Stoll offer housing and support to veterans in London.  In addition, Stoll offer activities and a monthly London Veterans Drop-in, as well as outreach: 020 7385 2110 or email  info@stoll.org.uk
  • The Poppy Factory (www.poppyfactory.org) The country’s leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions or impairments: 020 8940 3305
  • King Edward VII Hospital - Centre For Veterans’ Health (www.kingedwardvii.co.uk/the-charity/centre-for-veterans-health) The hospital runs a veterans pain clinic and a pain management programme in Marylebone: 020 7467 4344
  • The Official Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs (www.afvbc.net/) Facilitate veterans (also quite often current service personnel) to meet face to face in a relaxed,  safe, social environment.

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