Health rights for veterans

Advice and support on healthcare and welfare for veterans and their families

Support for veterans

If you have served in the armed forces, you may be entitled to healthcare support as a veteran. This includes people who have served as a regular and those who have been reservists.

The Armed Forces Covenant

NHS Scotland and all Scottish health boards have signed the armed forces covenant. The Armed Forces Covenant Duty requires healthcare services to pay due regard to the principles of the Covenant.

The Armed Forces Covenant states that:

  • veterans shouldn’t be disadvantaged when accessing healthcare
  • special consideration may given to people with ongoing health problems that are a direct result of military service

Special consideration should not be classed as ‘preferential treatment’. It’s based on the clinical need for treatment.

Health conditions that are not the result of service in the armed forces will not be given special consideration.

Leaving the armed forces

When you leave the armed forces, you should register with your local GP practice.

You should let your GP practice know that you have served in the forces. You should also tell them if you have any medical conditions that are a direct result of your service.

It’s your choice if you want to be identified as a veteran in your NHS medical records.

Find your nearest GP practice

Medical records

When you leave the forces you’ll be offered an F Med 133 form. You should give this to your civilian GP practice. This form summarises your medical history, immunisation and screening status, and current medication.

Your medical records from your time in service are held by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). These can be shared with your GP practice if you give signed consent.