“From 1 January 2008, all veterans should receive priority access to NHS secondary care for any conditions which are likely to be related to their service, subject to the clinical needs of all patients.” (Source: NHS Choices, 2015)
Families and Veterans should not be disadvantaged when accessing health services. Changes have been made to the NHS Constitution in England to embed the principles of the Covenant. For example if on a waiting list in one area, and then reposted, that time already spent on a waiting list should be considered by the receiving health authority. This applies to all treatment for physical, dental and mental issues under the NHS.
Whilst serving in the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence takes responsibility for general medical healthcare. Upon leaving the Armed Forces ex-service personnel will need to register with a GP on the NHS.
To access healthcare services, as well as local support for achieving a healthy lifestyle, see links below:
If you need urgent medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency, call the NHS on 111, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
NHS Choices provides healthcare information for the Armed Forces Community, including service personnel, reservists, families and veterans.
Essex Connects is the place to find local activities and to help you to get in touch with hundreds of local charities, voluntary groups, and community sector services across Essex including Braintree, Colchester and Tendring.
NHS Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TIL) - Armed forces personnel approaching discharge can now get treatment and support, and thereafter into their civilian life, whether it is months or years later. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (covering South East of England and London) Tel: 0203 317 6818
Combat Stress is the UK's leading veterans' mental health charity providing free treatment and support 24 hours a day - 0800 138 1619.
Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds provides confidential support delivered by psychological wellbeing practitioners, often over the phone or on Skype, so that you can easily access support from all around the country - 0808 2020 144.
Mental Health Matters - 0800 107 0160
Big White Wall - Online mental wellbeing support 24/7. Safe, anonymous and has Wall Guides (counsellors) available 24/7. Free to serving personnel, veterans and their families - www.bigwhitewall.com tel: 0207 060 1677
Livewell is a campaign that promotes healthy messages and aims to support residents to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Tom Harrison House is a specialist facility providing an addiction recovery programme exclusively to military veterans, reservists, serving personnel and their families. 12 week programme – supported accommodation for the programme duration in a dedicated recovery house.
Contact number: 0151 909 8481
North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network provides support for Veterans, cascading advice and treatment.
Colchester Mind provides support for those who are stressed, depressed or in crisis.
Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre aims to inspire those who have been wounded, injured or become sick whilst serving our country, to enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. The Centre has been specially designed to offer the very best recovery atmosphere. It offers 27 single en-suite bedrooms and two family suites. The centre promotes general wellbeing, and residents are encouraged to undertake their own recovery programme under the guidance of specialist staff. It may involve educational courses, work placements, medical appointments or sporting activities.
These activities are designed to improve personal independence, raise morale, and develop camaraderie with others who have been injured or become sick.
Telephone: 01206 814880 or 01206 815838
The Royal British Legion provides families of serving and ex-Service personnel the chance to take a break and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
The Legion owns and operates four Break Centres in England and Northern Ireland, and make use of Parkdean Resorts, Haven and Center Parcs holiday parks around the UK.
Find out more about family holiday breaks