Health & Additional Needs
On this page:
Additional needsAdditional Needs Adaptations - moving from SFA to a civilian house
Special Educational Needs and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Registering with a GP is often nothing new for most Army families; however, if you have previously been registered with Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC) or military medical centres, you may be a little anxious about registering with an NHS practice. For information and advice on registering with a GP, click here.
If you are currently registered with an NHS dental practice you can remain on their books if you move, but make sure you inform the practice of your new address.
However, if you decide to transfer your care you may need some information on which dental practices provide NHS treatment in your area. For more information, click here.
If your child is currently on a waiting list for orthodontic treatment, you may find that moving to some areas will mean a longer wait due to the length of waiting lists there.
AFF advises you to try and start the orthodontic treatment before you move because then it will have to be continued and this could reduce waiting time for treatment. If you are experiencing problems with accessing orthodontic treatment, we are here to help, contact Karen Ross at email@example.com.
The Army has produced some transition guidance for soldiers explaining how to access the NHS and veteran related services [Transition Information Sheet 3].
Once your spouse or partner has left the Army they will be considered to be a veteran and it is important that they inform their GP of this, particularly if they have an ongoing medical issue or are taking medication.
Army families have always been expected to access their mental health provision through the NHS or through charitable provision, so this won’t change when your spouse/ partner leaves the Army. Mental health provision can also be accessed through various charitable organisations; for more information, click here.
Service personnel are provided with mental healthcare provision through the Defence Medical Services (DMS) if required. Once your soldier has left the Army, their NHS GP becomes responsible for healthcare provision for both physical and mental health issues.
If your spouse/partner is experiencing mental health issues that you believe are related to their Service in the Army, they can ask their GP to refer them to the Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme (VRMHP). This is located in Chilwell near Nottingham and is open to veterans who have served on operations since 1982. VRMHP staff understands military life and will carry out an assessment of the mental health problems being experienced and then refer on for any treatment required.
Other organisations that can help both veterans and their families include:
If you or a member of your family is currently having healthcare treatment, or are taking specific medication, it is important to ask your GP for a copy of any relevant medical notes or a record of the medication that you are taking. This should reduce any delay of treatment when you register with your next GP, particularly if your notes haven’t arrived when you have your initial appointment.
If you are receiving specialist treatment hospital it is recommended that you ask your Consultant to refer you on to a Consultant at a hospital in the area in which you will be living or request your GP to refer you on.
If you are currently on an NHS waiting list, and move before you reach the top of it, you should be able to transfer any waiting time accrued when you move; this is a commitment of the Armed Forces Covenant. If you do experience problems with transferring your NHS waiting list time, contact AFF Health and Additional needs Specialist Karen Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, click here.
If you have a family member with additional needs and/or disability and you require adaptations to your next property, contact your Local Authority (LA) to request an Occupational Therapy (OT) assessment.
In some areas LAs may have long waiting lists and they usually have eligibility criteria to see whether someone can receive occupational therapy services; this is based on the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) guidance.
For more information on the eligibility criteria, click here.
If you cannot wait for an LA OT assessment, you can opt to get a private OT assessment; ensure they are fully qualified and a member of a recognised body, such as the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT).
OTs can also provide you with equipment for your home; to find out how you do this, visit www.gov.uk/apply-home-equipment-for-disabled.
If you require major adaptations or more expensive equipment, this is the responsibility of the housing department. You may be required to pay something towards the cost of these items, or you may be able to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help with the cost.
Children with a disability who are under 18yrs can get a grant without their parents’ income being taken into account. Contact your local council for more information.
If your child has SEN or SEND and you need support getting them into the correct school for their needs, contact the local authority and speak to the SEN team. The GOV.UK website has some useful information on SEN and SEND.
The Children and Families Act 2014 gave local authorities a statutory duty to produce a 'Local Offer' for children and young people with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) from 0 to 25.