Armed Forces and Veterans Healthcare Useful Links

Information about support available for members of the armed forces/veterans, their families and carers, and for staff supporting them

The Veterans Gateway Self Help contains information and useful services for veterans seeking advice and support.  It is the national first point of contact for veterans seeking support and can be used to find veteran specific resources across all welfare categories, including physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as housing, finances, employment, family and communities, and living independently.

A list of charities, associations and benevolent funds designed to support armed forces communities and veterans can be found on the Norfolk County Council website.

The NHS Website contains information for the armed forces community on how the NHS can help those in the British armed forces or veterans, reservists or family members of someone who is serving or who has served.

Op COURAGE also offers vital support to veterans and their families. 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.

Everyone at Op COURAGE is either from the armed forces community or is experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. They understand military life and the courage it takes to speak with someone. They will work with veterans to make sure they get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment.

Op RESTORE is an NHS service that ensures those who have served in the UK Armed Forces access the right NHS treatment for significant, continuing physical injuries and illnesses caused by their time in the Armed Forces. This service will help you by ensuring you can access the care you need within the NHS, making sure you’re treated by people who understand the military world and specialise in the type of physical health problems you have, and putting together a care plan shaped around your needs. Anyone who has served in the UK armed forces can ask their GP to refer them into the service.

Op FORTITUDE is funded by The Armed Forces Covenant Fund to deliver a centralised referral pathway into veteran supported housing. The remit of the team will be to work with individual veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness, supporting them either into suitable accommodation, or supporting them to maintain their current home.

The Op FORITUDE Pathway opened for referrals on 3 July 2023, with an initial focus on tenancy sustainment and high-risk referrals and will be fully operational by 1 September 2023 when the funded supported housing goes live. Referrals can come from self-referral or from a range of people and organisations. More information, the referral form and referral phone number can be found on the Op FORTITUDE webpage.

Op NOVA supports veterans in the justice system by providing one to one non clinical support to those who are at risk of being arrested or already have been, are due to leave prison or have been released from prison.  Veterans accessing the service have access to a range of practical and emotional help, along with being supported by an expert case worker.

NHS Step into Health supports the Armed Forces community to access the career opportunities available in the NHS. Members of the Armed Forces community can connect to NHS organisations to set up training opportunities, clinical and general work placements, insight days and receive application support. The programme provides a dedicated pathway into a career in the NHS.

Visiting your GP – just over half of the General Practices (GPs) in Norfolk and Waveney are now accredited as Veteran Friendly. You can read about support for General Practices in Norfolk and Waveney here. Next time you visit your practice tell them if you are a serving member of the armed forces, a veteran or a family member or carer of someone who is as this will help them to help you. Ask them if they have GP Veteran Friendly accreditation and look out for the logo.

Carers Matter Norfolk offer support for Armed Forces Carers.  They offer information and advice, carer breaks, signpost to services, and support for carers who are part of the armed forces community. Support is available for family members, or people still serving, service leavers, young carers, veterans, or reservists.

A Needs Assessment was commissioned by the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant Board to establish an evidence base to support decision making relating to local public service provision and partnership working by improving understanding of the Armed Forces community within Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council also have lots of useful information on their websites.

The Forces Connect Free Mobile App can signpost veterans, armed forces personnel and their loved ones to support and advice in their local area. The Forces Connect app is designed to link users to organisations offering immediate help and support across a wide range of services. The information is
updated monthly, there are no charges or adverts and there’s no need to enter any personal data.

Funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, the app was created to promote a greater understanding and awareness of the issues affecting the Armed Forces Community within public services, initially across the South-East of England. As its success grew, more counties including Norfolk have joined the app, making it one of the easiest ways to access information and support for the Armed
Forces community. To download the app please go to the Armed Forces Network.

The NHS England healthcare page for armed forces serving personnel also contains links to other information including healthcare for veterans, support when leaving the armed forces, support for armed forces families, mental health support for veterans and serving personnel, armed forces introduction to NHS services and armed forces charities and support groups.

Veteran Aware – The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers – including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance trusts – who have agreed to be exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces community (be they Regular, Reserves, Veterans, spouses or dependants). Accreditation is available to NHS Acute, Ambulance, Community, and Mental Health providers in England.

Below is a list of the NHS Trusts in Norfolk and Waveney that are Veteran Aware.

NHS England Healthcare for the Armed Forces Community – A Forward View is a companion document to the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), outlining the commitments NHS England and NHS Improvement is making to improve the health and wellbeing of the Armed Forces community, serving personnel (regulars and reservists), veterans and their families.

The Armed Forces Covenant Duty – What You Need To Know is a document to support relevant public bodies understand what is required of them under the new Covenant Duty.   The Duty came into force on 22 November 2022 and is a legal obligation on certain public bodies to ‘have due regard’ to the principles of the Covenant and requires decisions about the development and delivery of certain services to be made with conscious consideration of the needs of the Armed Forces community.