Armed forces and veteran access to health care services

When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS.

Under the Armed Forces Covenant, you are entitled to priority treatment in the NHS for conditions linked to your military service.

Veterans’ Gateway can put you and your family in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support you need. 

There are other support services available.

Register with a GP

It's very important for continuing healthcare that you register with a GP and remember to tell them that you have served. This will help your GP to better understand any service-related health conditions that you may have and ensure that you are referred, where appropriate, to dedicated services for ex-forces.

If you've recently left the armed forces, it's important to give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records. This will help to ensure your military health record transfers to your NHS health record. It will also give your GP information on your health and ensure that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.

Being flagged as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will help to ensure that you are able to access dedicated services for those who have served in the UK armed forces.

These include services for mental health and physical health conditions.

For more information:

Mental health services

Mental health problems are common and can affect anyone, including veterans and their families.

Symptoms or problems coping can happen at any time, including a few years after leaving the armed forces.

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service      OpCOURAGE

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

It doesn't matter if you're due to leave the armed forces, just left the armed forces or left many years ago.

North of England

Call 0800 652 2867 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Op COURAGE urgent care and support service is accessible by health care referral only.