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

It’s highly 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 (MoD) to your GP, and enable you to benefit from veteran-specific services like prosthetics and mental health.

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.

Local Support

One of our local veterans founded the Armed Forces & Veterans Drop in Centre at

St Mary’s Longfleet Church Centre, Kingston Road, Poole BH15 2LP

Diane told us; I moved to Poole just before covid.  I am an army veteran with 14 yrs service.  I was surprised to find there was nothing for veterans in Poole.  I found a group of Christians (also veterans) and we started the first Armed forces and veterans drop in.  We meet the 1st Saturday of each month (apart from January 2022 which will be the 2nd Saturday). We have bacon/egg rolls and plenty of banter. People of all faiths and those with no faith are all welcome. I’m hoping to arrange coach trips in the future to places of interest like the Poppy factory.  We are here for all armed forces and veterans,  you are not alone! If you would like more information please contact Di 07873488686 or [email protected]

With You is a free and confidential service for members of the armed forces community affected by drugs and alcohol. The local drop-in is held at The Spire in Poole High Street every Wednesday 1pm – 3pm upstairs in Hall 2a.

If you have any questions please contact John on 07773 251070 or email him at [email protected]

Veteran Self-Care and Crisis Advice

24 hour Helpline providing confidential mental health advice to all former servicemen and women, as well as their families, friends and carers.

Call: 0800 138 1619

Text: 07537 173 683

Email: [email protected]

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. Specialist care and support for Service leavers, veterans and their families.

Op COURAGE is the overarching name for the following three veterans 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 first call for help takes courage. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

If you’re due to leave the Armed Forces, just left the Armed Forces or left many years ago, Op COURAGE is here to help. You will be able to speak to people who:

  • understand the Armed Forces and military life
  • are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with Serving personnel, Reservists, Veterans and their families
  • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment.

The service can be contacted directly by yourself or you can ask your GP, a charity or someone else, such as a family member or friend, to do this on your behalf.

What will happen when you contact Op COURAGE

To make sure you get the right care and support, you will first have an assessment by someone who understands the specific needs of the Armed Forces community.

The service offers a range of treatment, which includes:

  • working with Defence Medical Services to make sure you get mental health care and support as you transition from the military to civilian life
  • recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing care and treatment for this
  • therapeutic treatment for more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  • intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
  • helping you to access other NHS services if needed, such as psychological therapies (IAPT) services and eating disorder services
  • working with charities and local organisations to support you with your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support.

For more information, visit the NHS website at

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is the new name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS). The new name has been developed following feedback from veterans and their families to make it easier for those leaving the military and veterans to find help.

UK Veterans’ Survey set to launch later this year says Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the Office for National Statistics. For more details: