The health care of all veterans has been the responsibility of the NHS since 1953. Former service personnel with mental health problems, including post traumatic stress disorder will benefit from the Government’s decision to extend priority treatment to all veterans whose condition is considered by their GP to be due to service. Veterans are also designated as a Special Interest Group (SIG) in the Department of Health’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme. This will train 3,600 new therapists by 2010-11 in England. Additionally, five NHS trusts across the UK are piloting a new model of mental health care for veterans, one of which is located in Camden and Islington, and another one is based at the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. These will provide a holistic service with social support networks complementing health care. Since 1996, the NHS Trauma Service in Hull has worked with veterans to develop and raise awareness of a suitable care pathway.
The MOD also provides a Medical Assessment Programme at St. Thomas’s hospital for those that have concerns about their health due to service, since 1982.
The health care of veterans is a matter for the national health service and the four UK health Departments. Information is not held by the MOD on how many veterans have been treated for post-combat stress disorder in each of the last three years in London and North Yorkshire.