4 April 2019

New programme for armed forces personnel seriously wounded in conflict welcomed

News of the launch of a new package of support for seriously wounded armed forces personnel has been welcomed by Royal British Legion Industries.

The joint agreement between the MOD and NHS England, developed with the Department of Health and Social Care, will ensure that individuals with complex and enduring healthcare requirements transitioning out of the military into civilian life will continue to receive comprehensive support.

Announcing the new approach, which will benefit former military personnel who were medically discharged from the Armed Services, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who recently visited RBLI, said: “We owe enormous gratitude to the brave men and women of our armed forces, who have risked their lives for our safety and security.

“Their health and wellbeing must be our priority and we have a duty to provide excellent specialist care no matter what their physical or mental health needs.”

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of RBLI, Steve Sherry OBE CMG, said: “Better coordination of support between the MOD, NHS and social care for veterans is to be welcomed wholeheartedly. Veterans with complex needs and with multiple needs require longer term commitment and more comprehensive services.

“This is why at RBLI we have developed wraparound care that integrates health care, mental health support, mobility, independent living skills, employability and even paid employment.

“As a nation it must be our commitment that injured, sick and disabled veterans are not just recovering; they are properly supported to make a successful transition to civilian life.”

As well as the establishment of the new framework, known as Armed Forces personnel in transition, Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans (IPC4V), the MOD will now provide extra funding to a very small number of individuals injured in service, and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recipients who require 24 hour, one-to-one care from a trained individual.

The funding, which has currently been set as £24,000 per year for life, can be spent on health and wellbeing activities which are above those already provided by statutory services to enable a better quality of life for this small number of individuals.

Available in England, the new ICP4V framework will provide personalised care for armed forces personnel who have complex and enduring healthcare requirements that have resulted from injury whilst in service. This is part of the expansion of support for all veterans and their families as they transition out of the armed forces under the NHS Long Term Plan.

Jointly developed between the MOD, NHS England, service charities including Blesma, the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, and local authorities, as well as with patients and their families, IPC4V provides a framework for effectively planning and delivering personalised care in line with the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. This will now start around nine months before personnel are due to leave the military.

Since its launch April 2017, over 6,000 ex-service personnel have been helped to settle back into civilian life through NHS’ ‘Transition, Intervention and Liaison’ service, (TILS). Several trusts have been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’, which means veterans will be cared for by staff who have been trained on how to treat their specific needs, and can refer them to their local support services.

The new programme of support was announced by Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson; Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood and Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.