Armed Forces Veterans

Are you a Military Veteran (Ex-Armed Forces)?

The UK Government has pledged to support Military Veterans and Ex-Forces personnel with priority NHS care. A veteran is defined as someone who has served in the regular or reservist armed forces for at least one day. There are around 4.5 million veterans in the UK, and once service members leave the armed forces, their healthcare becomes the responsibility of the NHS. All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS hospital care for any condition related to their service, regardless of whether or not they receive a war pension.

Veterans are encouraged to inform their GP of their veteran status to access priority treatment if appropriate. Health-related issues for veterans can manifest in various ways.

If you are a Military Veteran, please let reception, your GP or nurse know so we can update your medical records.

This link provides comprehensive signposting to various resources and assistance you may need.

Veterans, service leavers, and non-mobilised reservists – NHS (


Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.

Mental health support for veterans, service leavers and reservists – NHS (

How Op COURAGE can help

Op COURAGE can help you and your family with a range of support and treatment, including:

  • helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
  • helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems, as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  • providing support and treatment for substance misuse and addictions
  • helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS talking therapies service and eating disorder services
  • liaising with charities and local organisations to support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as help with housing, relationships, finances and employment
  • supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping them to access local services

Op COURAGE service in the North

Call 0300 373 3332 or email Website:

Combat Stress

For serving personnel, veterans and armed forces families.

The charity Combat Stress provides self help advice on their website. They offer mental health helplines for 24/7 confidential advice and support

Combat Stress website

Veterans and their families helpline: 0800 138 1619

Serving personnel and their families helpline: 0800 323 4444

You can also text on 07537173683 and email



Originally, an NHS England funded initiative, OpCOMMUNITY is an easily accessible point of contact with a dedicated email and phone number to support the Armed Forces community as a whole. This includes Serving (Regulars and Reservists) and Ex-Service Personnel, immediate family members and carers of those from within His Majesty’s Armed Forces. We will be able to assist directly with your query and can provide advice, guidance and support on a range of issues. Ensuring that the Armed Forces Covenant and the Armed Forces Act 2021 are applied where appropriate.

What can OpCOMMUNITY help me with?

  • Liaise with other organisations on your behalf facilitating safe and expedient transfers of and continuity of care and support for those transferring into the area
  • Supporting Reservists and their families in seeking assistance
  • Continuation of treatment and/or maintaining your place on a NHS waiting list
  • Providing advice, guidance and support on how to use the NHS
  • Advise on Veteran Friendly GP Practices within the local area
  • Social Prescribing support
  • Direct your query to a Service Champion within an organisation
  • Link with other Armed Forces specific services e.g. Op RESTORE: Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Network, Op COURAGE: Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

If OpCOMMUNITY is unable to help directly, we will try and signpost or refer you to the appropriate service.

NHS Humber and North Yorksire ICB T: 01609765315
M: 0794950433

Building for Heroes

Established in 2014, Building Heroes is dedicated to service leavers, veterans, reservists and military families. We provide training and employment support into a new career in construction by equipping individuals with a broad range of trade skills and then connecting them with a network of employers.

T:0330 912 6200


Warrior Programme

The programme is designed to support individuals in developing their resilience and build mental strength through workshops, residentials or online courses. Please view their website for further information.

Veterans ID Card

An HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a way to prove that you served in the UK armed forces. The card can make it quicker and easier to apply for support as a veteran.

It’s free to apply.

You can currently only apply for a Veteran Card if you have a UK address. Veterans who do not have a UK address will be able to apply later this year.

The application process for a Veterans ID Card is now open:

Research Oportunity

King’s College London are running a study looking at ex-service personnel experiences when leaving the military and transitioning to civilian life (see attached poster).  Please share as appropriate with your clients/patients.  To participate or if you have any questions, please contact them directly