The forum brings together military and health managers, clinicians and social services as well as military and family welfare bodies to provide regional leadership and help increase and improve access to health services for those in the region who have served in the armed forces.
The term veterans refers to people who have spent a proportion of their lives serving their country in the armed forces as a regular or reserve. There are over 200,000 veterans in the north east, some of whom have different health needs because of their military service. In particular, war veterans can suffer from mental health problems and too often delay seeking help for many years after they have returned home from active service.
The forum has been put in place to tackle this and other issues such as priority access to health services and the right to the highest quality Military of Defence prosthesis (artificial limbs and devices). It follows the government’s promise to help and support people in the armed forces when they need it most; a promise which has been brought into law through the ‘Military Covenant'.
Improving health services for our servicemen and women is a priority for NHS North East and we will work through this forum to ensure we live up to this commitment. By bringing military, health, social care and voluntary services voices around the table, we can make better decisions and improve outcomes for those who have served their country.