Health & Additional Needs


On this page:

Health

Registering with a doctor
Registering with a dentist/orthodontist
Helping your soldier access NHS treatment
Mental health
Transferring treatment or NHS waiting list time

Additional needs

Additional Needs Adaptations - moving from SFA to a civilian house
Special Educational Needs and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

 

Health

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Registering with a doctor

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

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Registering with a dentist/orthodontist

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 additionalneeeds@aff.org.uk.

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Helping your soldier access NHS treatment

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.

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Mental health

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:

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 Transferring treatment or NHS waiting list time

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 additionalneeds@aff.org.uk  

For more information, click here

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Additional Needs

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Additional Needs Adaptations - moving from SFA to a civilian house

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. 

The Disabled Facilities Grant is means tested for adults and is only available in England and Wales. Click the links for information on accessing equipment and grants in Scotland and for NI.

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. 

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Special Educational Needs and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

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.

You should be able to find the Local Offer on your local authority website or on the Local Offer website. The Department for Education (DfE) has published a useful SEND guide for parents and carers.  

Click the links for more information about SEN or SEND.

 

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AFF Specialist

Karen Ross
Tel: 0755 286 1983
Email: additionalneeds@aff.org.uk

ABF logoThis post is generously supported by
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

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AFF is interested to hear your views or concerns about issues discussed on our website. Please email us at additionalneeds@aff.org.uk.


 
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