Initiated by the UK Government's Office for Veterans’ Affairs, with agreement from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, this PSP aimed to identify the Top 10 priorities for research to improve the quality of life for former UK service personnel, and their families and carers.
About the Veteran's Health Priority Setting Partnership
The Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) leads UK government efforts to make sure the UK is the best place in the world to be a veteran. Sitting at the heart of government in the Cabinet Office allows the OVA to make sure all departments are working to provide the best support for veterans and their families. This James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was part of this work.
The aim of the PSP was to make sure that researchers and research funders are aware of the issues that matter most to veterans and their families, and therefore the future research that will make a real difference to their lives.
The PSP heard from over 1,000 veterans, carers, family members and healthcare professionals who work with veterans, in a survey which asked for their questions or comments about the physical and mental health and wellbeing of veterans or their family, friends and carers. Their contributions were collated into a list of summary research questions and the PSP then asked veterans, carers, family members and healthcare professionals to choose the questions from the list that were most important based on their experience.
In a final stage of setting the research priorities, veterans, family members, healthcare professionals and charity representatives from around the UK were invited to a workshop in Whitehall in London in early September 2023 to discuss and agree what the final order of priority of these research questions should be.
Here is what one of the workshop participants said about the workshop:
" The day was truly memorable for me, and it was an honour to be part of such a crucial decision-making event. At moments, the magnitude of the occasion did feel intense and over-whelming. After previewing the attendee list, I had some initial reservations, wondering if individual motivations might dominate. However, the reality was much different. It was heartening to witness the collective desire to prioritise the entire Veteran community and further research on their behalf. I must also commend you and your team. The balance you maintained in ensuring every opinion was considered, without any overshadowing others, truly speaks volumes about the integrity of the JLA. "
The OVA is now calling for researchers and funders to help answer these questions and improve quality of life for former service personnel and their families.
The Top 10 and full list of questions discussed at the workshop can be found at the Top 10 link below.
The PSP was led by a Steering Group of veterans, family members, charity representatives, and healthcare professionals. Members of the Steering Group brought with them their knowledge of veterans’ health, whether from lived experience or work-related experience, and an understanding of the people that the PSP needed to hear from. A full list of Steering Group members is included in the PSP protocol (see key documents). The PSP is extremely grateful for their input and for the many other people who had input to this work, whether by responding to the PSP surveys, circulating surveys to friends and colleagues, or attending the priority setting workshop.
For more information about this work or to discuss future research, please get in touch with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs via firstname.lastname@example.org. A full report will be published in 2024.
The Veterans' Health PSP Top 10 was published in October 2023.
Top 10 priorities
These are the research priorities agreed to be the most important.