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Veterans Information

UK Armed Forces Veterans: NHS Priority Treatment

A veteran is defined as someone who has served at least one day in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. There are around 2.6 million veterans in Great Britain.

When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS.

It’s very important for continuing healthcare that you register with an NHS GP and remember to tell them that you have served. This will help your GP to better understand any service-related health conditions that you may have and ensure that you are referred, where appropriate, to dedicated services for ex-forces.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces (service-related). However, this is always subject to clinical need and does not entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need. Being flagged as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will help to ensure that you are able to access dedicated services for those who have served in the UK armed forces. These include services for mental health and physical health conditions.


Op Courage is a new overarching name for the following veteran’s mental health services:

  • Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)
  • Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
  • Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity service (HIS)

The name was created to make it easier for veterans and those leaving the military to find help.

Access criteria for the service as a veteran, patients must:

    • Be a resident in England
    • Have served in the UK Armed Forces for a full day
    • Be registered with a GP in England or be willing to register with a GP
    • Be able to provide their military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.

The Veterans Transition, intervention, and Liaison Service (TILS) is an NHS service that has been specially tailored to support and treat:

  • ex-armed forces veterans
  • reservists who are not currently mobilised
  • service personnel who are approaching discharge who may have mental health, social and welfare issues.


In the Southwest of England, call 0300 365 0300 or

email: [email protected]  (Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Isle of Scilly)

Veterans can also contact Forces Online, they act as an advocate, and will support you until you’ve been successfully passed on to a signposted organisation or organisations. If you need any help or advice, you can contact them for support via the following routes:

Tel 0300 300 2288 / email [email protected]


Further Information can be found on NHS Choices