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Veterans (Health Care)

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that NHS employees are informed of the health needs of (a) war pensioners and (b) veterans. (84825)

When a member of the armed forces with a current and ongoing health problem prepares to re-enter civilian life, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to engage with the primary care trust of future residence as early as possible to ensure the seamless transfer of care from the Defence Medical Services to the national health service. Thereafter, it is the duty of the attending NHS clinician to asses the changing health needs of the individual taking account of all relevant factors, including occupation and associated exposures and experiences.

Standing guidance on arrangements between the MOD and the NHS, as well as guidance on the right of war pensioners to generally receive priority treatment in NHS hospitals in respect of the condition or conditions for which they receive a pension or received a gratuity, is published on the Department’s website at www.dh.gov.uk.