NHS to launch multimillion-pound mental health scheme for veterans

A nationwide scheme to treat military veterans with mental health issues is set to be launched.

NHS England has announced a new service to provide support for those suffering from the most complex problems, from substance misuse to trauma.

The Veterans' Mental Health Complex Treatment Service was designed after former military personnel and their families across England were asked by the NHS how services could be improved.

At present veterans with problems access care through the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service, which helps patients access the right care.

The new service, backed by £3.2 million of funding, will help those who have the most complex needs.

Psychological therapies and psychiatry, detox services and family support are some of the options that will be available to veterans.

The initiative will also aim to help veterans access services closer to home, rather than requiring them to travel.

They will also be able to access help with employment, accommodation, finances and relationships.

Dr Jonathan Leach, chairman of NHS England's armed forces and their families clinical reference group, said: "The NHS is committed to providing every veteran who needs mental health support with the best care, which is why we have already set up a dedicated new service based directly on feedback from veterans themselves.

"To build on this, we are investing £3.2m in a national complex treatment service, launching next month, which will treat more patients, over a longer period and closer to home as veterans have told us they prefer."

Edward Parker, CEO of Walking with the Wounded, said: "This is a very welcome commitment by the NHS to provide a comprehensive network of care for veterans and their families."