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Veterans: health FAQs

Find answers to the questions most commonly asked about veterans' health.

I'm a GP. How can I request my patient's service medical records?

Veterans are given a personal copy of their summary medical record when they leave the Services, together with information on how to obtain their full Service medical record if they need it.

If this has been lost, you can send an email regarding a specific medical record.

RN Service Leavers
Institute of Naval Medicine
Crescent Road
Hants PO12 2DL

Secretariat Disclosure 3 (Medical)
Mail Point 525
Army Personnel Centre
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
Glasgow G2 8EX

ACOS (Manning)
RAF Disclosures
Room 14
Trenchard Hall
RAF Cranwell
Lincs NG34 8HB

What is a veteran?

A veteran is anyone who has served for at least 1 day in the armed forces, whether regular or reserve.

This also applies to Merchant Navy seafarers and fishermen who have served in a vessel when it was being used for military operations by the armed forces.

Do I need to register with a GP when I leave the armed forces?

Yes. You should have a summary record of your health history given to you when you're discharged, with details of how a GP can obtain your medical records.

What if I no longer have a copy of my health record from my time in the armed forces?

If you no longer have a copy of your health record summary from when you were in the armed forces, find out how individuals can obtain their own records (service or medical) from the requests for personal data and service records on GOV.UK.

How long will I have to wait for treatment?

It depends on what you need.

All veterans are entitled to priority NHS treatment for any condition related to their service. This includes veterans who do not receive a war pension.

Priority treatment includes assessment, treatment, aids and appliances for conditions accepted as being due to their service.

Can I get financial support for my medical needs?

If you're a war pensioner who needs medical treatment or care because you were disabled while serving in the armed forces during war, you should seek advice and help from Veterans UK and the Veterans Welfare Service.

You may also be able to get help from the Royal British Legion.

I'm disabled. Can I get financial support?

If you need items like a stairlift, bathroom adaptations or personal alarm system, Veterans UK and the Veterans Welfare Service can help you apply for these from your local social services.

Can I get help for mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder?

Yes. There are treatments available to help people cope with the psychological consequences of exposure to traumatic events, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

The NHS and other partners can deliver these services for anyone who needs them, and they also have services specifically aimed at helping veterans.

Find out more about veterans' mental health services

I have been referred for a health problem related to my service in the armed forces. Can I get special assistance?

Maybe. A GP may be able to get you referred more quickly for any hospital care or treatment that's needed. But this is subject to the clinical needs of others.

Where can I get information about ex-service nursing homes?

The Ex-Services Homes Referral Agency (ESHRA) has a database of all ex-service nursing, convalescent and respite care homes in the UK.

Contact the Royal British Legion on 0808 802 8080.

Further advice and support

Veterans' Gateway can help you get in touch with local services and has lots of information on topics such as housing, finances and wellbeing. You can also contact one of their advisors by phone or email.

Page last reviewed: 13 June 2018
Next review due: 13 June 2021