This website contains a range of useful information for professionals working with veterans, service leavers, reservists and their families. Collectively, this is the Armed Forces Community.

Working with the Armed Forces Community

It is estimated that there are approximately 107,000 veterans living in Devon (Veteran’s Health Needs Assessment, 2014). For a large proportion of these veterans, serving in the Armed Forces was a positive experience. However, a minority experience adverse physical and mental health problems, which can be compounded by other factors such as financial and welfare problems.

It is also clear that veterans may experience problems with accessing appropriate services in comparison to the civilian population. This may be further complicated by a lack of understanding of the armed forces culture within civilian services.

The Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the government and the armed forces. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.

The Covenant’s two principles are that:

  • the Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services
  • special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

The Covenant exists to redress the disadvantages that the Armed Forces Community may face in comparison to other citizens, and to recognise sacrifices made.

Further Resources

Guidance: Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of Military Families

This document supports health visitors and school nurses to deliver improved outcomes, and outlines aspirations for service delivery.

South West Peninsula Veteran’s Health Needs Assessment

Produced by the Devon Armed Forces Community Health and Wellbeing Partnership in 2014, this health needs assessment reports on the health and wellbeing needs of the veteran population in the South West Peninsula to guide decisions about the commissioning of appropriate services.

Veterans’ Health in General Practice

This e-learning course covers the psychological and physical issues which are commonly faced by veterans and their families, and to outline some of the resources which are available to help them. The course also discusses retention of records and confidentiality.

This course has been developed in partnership with the Royal British Legion and with support from Changing Faces. It was funded by the Department of Health.

This course is free to all primary healthcare professionals in the UK.

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 731 4880. Forcesline is a service provided by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.