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Veterans: Mental Health

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the development of the community-based mental health programme for veterans announced on 23 November 2007; and if he will make a statement. (203327)

Four pilots have been launched for a new community-based veterans’ mental health service, providing expert assessment and treatment within the NHS, and including input by ex-service charities. These pilots are located at Staffordshire and Shropshire, Camden and Islington, Bishop Auckland and Cardiff Vale. These will be followed shortly by two further pilots in Cornwall and Lothian. The pilots will run for two years. There will be an independent evaluation and the plan is to apply the lessons learned from them nationally. In the interim, for areas not yet covered by the pilots, veterans with mental health problems resulting from operations since 1982 may attend our Medical Assessment Programme based at St. Thomas' Hospital, London.