12 Nov 2018

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least 1 day. There are around 2.6 million veterans in the UK. When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS.

It is very important for continuing healthcare that you register with an NHS GP and remember to tell them you have served.

Telling the GP practice about your veteran status will trigger the transfer of your full medical documentation from the Ministry of Defence to your GP, and enable you to benefit from veteran-specific services like prosthetics and mental health. Details of GP surgeries and other health services within your area can be found by using find GP services.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time within the armed forces (service-related). But this is always subject to clinical need and doesn't entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need.

If the NHS service you're dealing with is unaware of priority treatment, you're actively encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have told them you have served.

Find answers to the questions most commonly asked about veterans' health by read these frequently asked questions.