NHS

The MOD Covenant Team are undertaking work to assess the impact of the Armed Forces Covenant Legal Duty, which came into force in November 2022. We are therefore requesting information from NHS bodies through the Impact of the Covenant Legal Duty Survey 2024. We would be grateful if you could take 10 minutes to complete this survey, which will be live until 15th July 2024.

NHS bodies can support the Armed Forces community and implement the Covenant by:

West Suffolk Hospital National Health Service Trusts Matron team supporting Armed Forces Day by Saluting Our Forces whist holding the Armed Forces Day flag
West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trusts Matron team supporting Armed Forces Day.

Mitigating the impacts of Service life on patients from the Armed Forces community

You might provide healthcare to:

  • Currently serving Regular or Reserve members of the UK Armed Forces
  • Family members of someone serving, or formerly serving, in the UK Armed Forces
  • Bereaved family members of someone who died on service in the UK Armed Forces
  • Service leavers and former members (‘veterans’) of the UK Armed Forces

Some of these patients might face disadvantages compared to the general population, arising from Service life, such as a longer treatment programme due to a mobile lifestyle. You might be able to mitigate some of these disadvantages. There might also be opportunities for you to offer special provision to those who have sacrificed the most, such as the injured and the bereaved. Find out more about mitigating the impacts of Service life.

Since November 2022, certain NHS bodies have been legally obliged to have due regard to the Covenant principles when carrying out certain functions. Find out more about the Covenant Legal Duty.

GP practices in England can opt to become Veteran Friendly, it means that they provide extra support to those who have served. Practices who join the scheme gain access to a dedicated support package from the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Employing members of the Armed Forces community

As part of the NHS, you might employ:

  • Currently serving Reserve members of the UK Armed Forces
  • Family members of someone serving, or formerly serving, in the UK Armed Forces
  • Bereaved family members of someone who died on service in the UK Armed Forces
  • Service leavers and Veterans of the UK Armed Forces

You can be a Forces friendly employer of members of the Armed Forces community, receive awards that recognise your commitment to the Covenant, and get help and advice. Find out more about employing members of the Armed Forces community.

Show your support

Sign the Covenant, apply for Covenant funding, or use the Covenant branding. Find out more about showing your support.

Research documents for healthcare professionals

Understanding Military Culture: York St John University has published a report for staff in local authorities and medical services who have dealings with serving and veteran personnel.

The Local Government Association has written a report for local authorities and healthcare professionals on meeting the public health needs of the Armed Forces.

  • If you have a query or comment about the Armed Forces Covenant and wish to receive a response, please use the Contact Us form.
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