Veterans' Health top 10 priorities

The most important questions

  1. How can access to urgent mental health care be improved for veterans experiencing a mental health crisis?
  2. What kinds of treatment and support would benefit partners, children and other family members caring for veterans?
  3. How can NHS and charity services work more collaboratively to provide joined-up care that better meets the needs of veterans?
  4. How can veterans be encouraged to recognise they need help and to ask for the help they need, especially for mental health problems?
  5. What additional steps could better prepare people for leaving military service, and avoid or reduce the health problems they may experience as veterans?
  6. What are the best ways to treat and manage addictions in veterans, including alcohol and drug misuse, and gambling?
  7. What are the best ways to treat and support veterans who experienced bullying, abuse or military sexual trauma during their military service?
  8. How can veterans’ mental health problems (e.g. PTSD) be detected earlier and with greater accuracy?
  9. How can health services better meet the needs of female veterans?
  10. What can be learnt from the veterans who have good mental health even after experiencing trauma? How might this help the veterans who do not do well?

The following questions were also discussed and put in order of priority at the workshop:

  1. How could long-term physical and mental health problems in veterans be prevented during military service?
  2. How can continuity of care from military to NHS services be improved, to ensure successful transfer of medical notes and ongoing care for veterans?
  3. How can access to specialist health services for veterans be improved?
  4. How can health problems be better assessed at the point of transition from military service to ensure veterans receive appropriate treatment and care?
  5. How can veterans’ health problems avoid being misdiagnosed (e.g. when all symptoms are incorrectly attributed to PTSD, or when health problems are not recognised as being linked to military service)?
  6. How can adult social care be improved to better meet the needs of veterans, their partners and family members?
  7. How can veterans, especially those with health problems, best be supported to find meaningful employment?
  8. Which long-term mental and physical health problems in veterans are linked to military service e.g. arthritis, cancer, neurological conditions? How can this link be proved?
  9. What treatment and support do homeless veterans need to improve their health? How can they be helped to access services?
  10. What are the best ways to treat hearing loss and tinnitus in veterans?
  11. What are the best ways to care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
  12. How can the different health and care professionals caring for veterans better co-ordinate their care?
  13. What are the best ways to support veterans to manage life-long mental health problems?
  14. Do veterans receive better quality treatment and care from professionals who know and understand life in the military and the experiences of veterans?
  15. What is the impact of adapting to civilian life on the family members of veterans? What support do partners, couples and families need at this time?
  16. How are the psychological needs of female veterans different to male veterans? How can services better meet their needs?