Veterans health rights

The Armed Forces community is made up of:

  • serving personnel (both Regular and Reserve)
  • their families
  • military veterans
  • the bereaved

In Scotland, there are around 15,000 serving personnel and reservist personnel. It's estimated that the veteran's population, which includes all former national service personnel, is around 260,000 (as of 2014).

Veterans have a number of heath rights which are unique to them. To help veterans better understand their rights and the resources available to them, we've compiled a useful list below.

Priority Treatment

Under long-standing arrangements since 1953, war pensioners are given priority NHS treatment for the conditions for which they receive a war pension or gratuity, unless there is an emergency case or another case that demands clinical priority. These priority treatment provisions were then extended to all veterans who have a condition that is likely to be related to their service.

As a result, veterans should receive priority treatment for health problems as a result of service to their country, unless there is an emergency case or another case that demands clinical priority.

Veterans should not be given priority treatment for conditions unrelated to service in the armed forces.

It is recognised that, with much faster access to NHS treatment for all patients, the priority treatment provisions are less significant than they were in the past. However, as set out in the Scottish Government report Renewing Our Commitments (PDF, 967KB) where a person has a health problem as a result of service to their country, it is right that they should get priority access to NHS treatment, based on clinical need.

The Scottish Government and the Ministry of Defence are aware that confusion can arise when “priority treatment” is interpreted as “preferential treatment”. The Scottish Government is working together with MoD and Veterans organisations in Scotland to provide information which clarifies this issue.

Useful resources

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

The AFCS can be accessed by any veteran or serving personnel with a service-related condition or injury on or after 6th April 2005 regardless of whether it occurred in connection with hostilities. However, the individual must apply for the scheme no later than 7 years after sustaining the injury or illness, unless claiming for an illness that started later (sometimes known as a 'late onset illness').

The AFCS can be claimed while in active service.

More about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

War Pension Scheme (WPS)

The WPS includes the War Disablement Pension and can be accessed by any veteran with a service-related condition or injury before 6th April 2005 regardless of whether it occurred in connection with hostilities.

This WPS can only be claimed after discharge.

More about the War Disablement Pension

Veteran Welfare Service (VWS)

The VWS is provided by Veterans UK to support veterans, and their dependants, eligible to claim for the AFCS or War Disablement Pension. Help and guidance can be given through either telephone contact or dedicated visiting service.

Find out about the Veteran Welfare Service on the Veterans UK website, or find relevant contact details throught the GOV UK website.

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency became part of the VWS in 2014. 

Medical Records

All personnel on leaving the Services are offered an F Med 133 proforma summarising significant medical history, immunisation and screening status and current medication, for onward transmission to their civilian primary care practitioner.

Requests for personal data and service records of veterans’ will be provided by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on completion and return of the relevant forms. You must supply poof of identification when returning these forms. Records can be supplied to a healthcare provider on receipt of the veteran’s signed consent.

Citizens Advice Scotland

The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) is a service delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland to provide dedicated information, advice and support to members of the Armed Forces Community in Scotland.

You can call their helpline for free on 0808 800 1007 (Monday to Friday, from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM).

Support Services

The following charities provide support for veterans and their families in the UK:

Websites

The following sites provide a wide range of information and services for veterans:

  • Veterans UK - is the official website of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
  • Veterans Assist Scotland - is an online resource to help personnel and their families leaving the Armed Forces, veterans in need of support and members of the public looking for information on veterans organisations in Scotland

Local Authority Champions

Every local authority in Scotland has a nominated Armed Forces Champion.

You can find contact details for the champion in your area below.

Please note, that the champion should not be your first point of contact if you are in need of clinical information.

Aberdeen City Council

Lord Provost George Adam

Organisation
Aberdeen City Council
Address
Email
gadam@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Aberdeenshire Council

Councillor William Munro

Organisation
Aberdeenshire Council
Address
Email
william.munro@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Angus Council

Councillor Ronnie Proctor

Organisation
Angus Council
Address
Email
CllrProctor@angus.gov.uk

Argyll and Bute Council

Councillor Maurice Corry

Organisation
Argyll and Bute Council
Address
Email
Maurice.Corry@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Clackmannanshire Council

Provost Tina Murphy

Organisation
Clackmannanshire Council
Address
Email
tmurphy@clacks.gov.uk

Dumfries & Galloway Council

Archie Dryburgh

Organisation
Dumfries & Galloway Council
Address
Email
archie.dryburgh@dumgal.gov.uk

Dundee City Council

Provost Bob Duncan

Organisation
Dundee City Council
Address
Email
bob.duncan@dundeecity.gov.uk

East Ayrshire Council

Provost Jim Todd

Organisation
East Ayrshire Council
Address
Email
Jim.Todd@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

Substitute contact is Gordon Cree

Organisation
East Ayrshire Council
Address
Email
Gordon.Cree@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

East Dunbartonshire Council

Councillor Anne Jarvis

Organisation
East Dunbartonshire Council
Address
Email
anne.jarvis@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

East Lothian Council

Councillor Ludovic Broun-Lindsay

Organisation
East Lothian Council
Address
Email
Lbroun-lindsay@eastlothian.gov.uk

East Renfrewshire Council

Councillor Jim Fletcher

Organisation
East Renfrewshire Council
Address
Email
Jim.Fletcher@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk

Edinburgh City Council

Lord Provost Donald Wilson

Organisation
Edinburgh City Council
Address
Email
lord.provost@edinburgh.gov.uk

Falkirk Council

Depute Provost, Councillor John Patrick

Organisation
Falkirk Council
Address
Email
john.patrick@falkirk.gov.uk

Fife Council

Steven Grimmond

Organisation
Fife Council
Address
Email
Steven.Grimmond@fife.gov.uk

Glasgow City Council

Councillor Malcolm Cunning

Organisation
Glasgow City Council
Address
Email
Malcolm.cunning@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk

Highland Council

Councillor Carolyn Caddick

Organisation
Highland Council
Address
Email
carolyn.caddick.cllr@highland.gov.uk

Councillor Allan Duffy

Organisation
Highland Council
Address
Email
allan.duffy.cllr@highland.gov.uk

Inverclyde Council

Councillor Gerry Dorian

Organisation
Inverclyde Council
Address
Email
Gerry.Dorrian@inverclyde.gov.uk

Midlothian Council

Provost Joe Wallace

Organisation
Midlothian Council
Address
Email
enquiries@midlothian.gov.uk

Moray Council

Councillor Chris Tuke

Organisation
Moray Council
Address
Email
chris.tuke@moray.gov.uk

North Ayrshire Council

Organisation
North Ayrshire Council
Address
Instruction

Awaiting confirmation

North Lanarkshire Council

Provost James Robertson

Organisation
North Lanarkshire Council
Address
Email
robertsonj@northlan.gov.uk

Orkney Islands Council

Organisation
Orkney Islands Council
Address
Instruction

No nominee being appointed

Perth and Kinross Council

Councillor Kate Howie

Organisation
Perth and Kinross Council
Address
Email
khowie@pkc.gov.uk

Renfrewshire Council

Provost Anne Hall

Organisation
Renfrewshire Council
Address
Email
cllr.anne.hall@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Scottish Borders Council

Councillor John Greenwell

Organisation
Scottish Borders Council
Address
Email
John.Greenwell@scotborders.gov.uk

Shetland Islands Council

Councillor Allison Duncan

Organisation
Shetland Islands Council
Address
Email
Allison.Duncan@shetland.gov.uk

South Ayrshire Council

Depute Provost, Councillor Mary Kilpatrick

Organisation
South Ayrshire Council
Address
Email
mary.kilpatrick@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

South Lanarkshire Council

Councillor Jim Handibode

Organisation
South Lanarkshire Council
Address
Email
james.handibode@southlanarkshire.gsx.gov.uk

Stirling Council

Councillor Fergus Wood

Organisation
Stirling Council
Address
Email
woodf@stirling.gov.uk

West Dunbartonshire Council

Provost Douglas McAllister

Organisation
West Dunbartonshire Council
Address
Email
Douglas.McAllister@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

West Lothian Council

Councillor Alex Davidson

Organisation
West Lothian Council
Address
Email
alex.davidson@westlothian.gov.uk

Western Isles Council

Councillor Kenneth Murray

Organisation
Western Isles Council
Address
Email
kmmurray@cne-siar.gov.uk