Healthcare information for HM Service Personnel, Veterans and their families


The national Armed Forces Covenant sets the following goals for healthcare for Service families and veterans:

  • Family members should maintain their position on any NHS waiting list. Even if they are moved around the UK due to the Service person being posted.
  • Veterans should receive priority treatment when NHS treatment relates to a condition connected to their Armed Forces service . This is subject to the clinical needs of others.
  • Veterans should be able to access mental health professionals who have an understanding of Armed Forces culture.
  • Members of the Armed Forces Community should enjoy the same standard and access to healthcare as that received by other UK citizens in the area.
  • Personnel injured on operations should receive treatment in conditions that recognise their specific needs.
  • Those injured in service should be cared for in a way which reflects the Nation’s moral obligation. Veterans should be able to access mental health professionals and services who have understanding of Armed Forces Culture

Finding a GP

Register yourself and your family with a local NHS GP surgery as soon as possible on leaving Service. Your service medical notes can be requested so that previous health conditions can be recorded.

An increasing number of GP practices are accredited as Veteran Friendly by the Royal College of GPs. Such practices will have an increased knowledge and understanding of service life so that they can more fully support you. Many have staff who are military veterans themselves.Map of Veteran Friendly GP practices in CornwallStep-by-step guide for service leavers

Finding a dentist

Contact the NHS Devon Dental Helpline (telephone 03330 063 300) to get on a waiting list for a NHS dentist in Cornwall. The phone line provides services for both Devon and Cornwall.

If you have been on a waiting list in another area, let them know. This will ensure that your position on the former list is maintained on the Cornwall one.

There is also an emergency dental service for those in need of urgent treatment and not registered with a dentist: West Country Dental Care, Truro Health Park, Infirmary Hill, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2JA.  Telephone: 0333 405 0290

Health and welfare support

The NHS website provides more information including:

  • Waiting lists and priority treatment
  • Support for physical health problems caused by service
  • Mental health support
  • Support for disabled veterans
  • Financial support
  • Sexual assault and abuse support
  • Support for families of veterans

Mental health and wellbeing

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service provides help and support through regional teams.

Telephone the South West team: 0300 365 2000

Email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk

The Op COURAGE urgent care and support service is accessible by healthcare referral or self referral by calling NHS111.

Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing Link Workers work in surgeries alongside GPs. They provide non-clinical support and information to help people access local services, activities and social groups.

They are supported by two specialist Armed Forces Community Social Prescribing Link Workers. These are ex-service personnel who understand the specific needs of members of the Armed Forces Community.

Contact the Social Prescribing Link Workers through your surgery or by email: admin@activeplus.org.uk or phone: 01326 567174

Other information

NHS England E-learning guide to Healthcare for the Armed Forces

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