There are a number of schemes and programmes that the Government has put in place to ensure that ex-service personnel facing physical or mental health problems are able to make a smooth return to civilian life.
1) E-Learning Package for GPs
It will provide an entry level package of advice on the health needs of Armed Forces, their families and veterans for GPs. It will focus on both physical and mental health issues. To date there are 1072 Unique Users and total hits of 37,464.The average score pre-assessment is 63.2% and post assessment is 94.5%.
2) Veteran's Information Service
A service which will make contact with those who have discharged from the Armed Forces one year after they have left. The service is still in its pilot stages, but will have shortly contacted all leavers since October 2010. The long term objective is to link this service with a new knowledge database/advice service that is being provided by the Royal British Legion. This will provide a 'one-click' solution so that veterans – who will be contacted by e-mail – can simply click through to the Royal British Legion site where appropriate advice will be provided. The Department for Health is funding this service.
3) Veterans' mental health teams
30 mental health professionals have been divided into 10 teams across the country. Each team provides slightly different services according to the local needs of the veteran populations they serve. Funding is being provided direct to NHS England to ensure that the teams continue their work.
4) National Veteran's Mental Health Network
Aims to identify good practice England and to work with teams to recommend how best to deliver veterans' mental health services from 2015 onwards. Facilitated by South Staffordshire Mental Health Trust.
5) Big White Wall (BWW)
An online early intervention peer support, wellbeing and counselling service. Provides support for our Forces, families and veterans. There are now 4,471 members from the Armed Forces receiving support – 42% are veterans, 32% are serving personnel and 26% are family members. The BWW have also been commissioned to provide access via smartphone/tablet and this should be in place later this year. Funding from government departments has been brought together with Help for Heroes to pay for the service.
6) Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Services (PTSD)
Combat Stress is funded through Specialist Commissioning arrangements to provide acute PTSD services for veterans with funding up to £18m.
Provides a mentoring service for veterans with mental health problems, funded by the Department of Health.
8) LIBOR – programmes funded by the LIBOR fine include:
24-hour veterans' mental health helplineMental Health First AidTraining for the Armed Forces Community in mental health first aidFunding of £600,000
Combat Stress Outreach Terms:
- Provide help for veterans with alcohol problems
- Funding of £2 million
- For veterans and families to enhance their support for veterans moving into civilian life
- For the first time, the programme will include partners and family members managing the stresses of caring for veterans
- Funding of £930,000.
Veterans Council Headquarters:
- Creating a one-stop shop for accessing mental health, health and social care, and transitional services tailored specifically to the military community
- Funding of £500,000
- Expanding their substance abuse and mental health treatment programmes for homeless and in-need veterans
- Assisted 458 veterans in crisis last year
- Funding of £160,000
- Surpporting a therapeutic training programme at the Beacon, a residence for homeless veterans in Catterick, North Yorkshire
- Funding of £31,000
9) Seriously Injured Service Leavers
Implemented the Transition Protocol for Seriously Injured Service Leavers: a detailed in-service assessment based on the Continuing Health Care (CHC) criteria. Whether the individual requires CHC or not, a care package will be put in place at discharge, including all relevant agencies and primary care.
Providing for national commissioning of specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation services for veterans. Nine centres have been identified for annual funding to enhance services for veterans. They are located in Bristol, Leicester, Sheffield, Carlisle, Preston, Stanmore, Portsmouth, Birmingham and Cambridge. In time, they will all provide Headley Court quality of care in the NHS for servicemen and women who have lost limbs in the service of our country.
11) The Veterans' Prosthetics Panel
Meets on a monthly basis to consider applications for prosthetic components for veteran amputees. The Panel is well regarded by patient representatives who have recently proposed that the Panel's remit should cover all costs associated with veterans' prosthetics, not just the high cost component currently funded. This is being funded by NHS England. To date, this panel has reviewed 104 funding requests, 86 of which have been approved.
Servicemen and veterans with infertility caused by being in conflict will receive three cycles of infertility treatment. It will be funded by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.