Bridge Street Medical Practice

20 Bridge Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1NQ

Telephone: 01509 261843

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Support for Veterans

Healthcare needs of veterans can be different from other patients. While most veterans have similar levels of health to the general population, around 2,000 leave on medical grounds. The most common reasons for medical discharge are for issues relating to people’s:

  • back
  • knees
  • mental health
  • hearing

Veterans may miss the structure, support and friendship of the forces and find the transition to life outside the military stressful. 

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may require additional support. Rates of PTSD are higher for veterans who were deployed when serving than among civilians. The rate is higher for those who have been deployed in a front-line, infantry combat role.

Service families

Service families often have extra pressures on their daily family life than the general population. These include:

  • stress around deployment
  • concerns about injury or death
  • extended, short-notice and repeated periods of separation
  • social isolation from family and friends because of being based in remote locations and moved at short notice
  • additional and short notice caring responsibilities
  • adapting to family life after enforced separation.

Service families tend to move every two to three years. They should not be disadvantaged by:

  • losing their place on hospital waiting lists
  • having their care interrupted
  • needing to re-register with GP services.

The Armed Forces Covenant supports serving personnel, service leavers, veterans, and their families. It sets out a number of health commitments for the Armed Forces community and expects the same standard of, and access to healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen.

Who counts as a veteran?

You are a veteran if you have served in the armed forces for at least 1 day.

Reservists who are not mobilised are also given the status of veteran until they return to actively serving.

If you are a mobilised reservist registered with Defence Medical Services (DMS), find information about accessing NHS healthcare while in active service.

Help for service leavers

During and after your discharge period, there are a number of actions you can take to help NHS and specialist veteran services support you.

Find more information for service leavers

How the NHS can help if you’re in the British armed forces or are a veteran, a reservist or a family member of someone who is serving or who has served.

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