Combined forces image

Supporting the Armed Forces

We are an Armed Forces Friendly Organisation and as such, we support veterans and their families to be treated equally and fairly in their NHS patient journey, and in line with our commitments set out in the Armed Forces Covenant.

NELFT can help you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally through our various range of services. We have processes in place to identify, care for, give the necessary support and appropriate referrals to ex- serving personnel or currently serving, and their immediate family members. We have Armed Forces Champions amongst our staff who are trained with necessary knowledge and can mentor others to support this specific niche of patients. Therefore, please do not hesitate to identify yourself as a member of the Armed Forces on our patient record form and speak to a staff member if you need any support. Furthermore, every patient’s veteran status is recorded when they notify the Trust, and the organisation supports veterans of the Armed Forces, whose condition relates directly to their military service, to be prioritised, subject to clinical need. As a mental health Trust, we endeavour to ensure veterans receive care from healthcare professionals who understand the Armed Forces culture.

In addition, NELFT is part of the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme of the Armed Forces Covenant and we have pledged to support members of the Armed Forces Community with employment, work placements and careers advice. For more information, please visit our NELFT Careers website.

Please be rest assured that if you have served in the Armed Forces, you and your close family members can have a wide support from charities and healthcare service providers. This support can range from rehabilitation or mental health support to housing, financial help, and even help with socialising.

If you would like assistance with our care pathways, or if you have any other questions, please get in touch with Dr Syed Ali Naqvi (Armed Forces Clinical Lead at NELFT) by emailing:

Please see all providers below and we hope this information will help you.  

Veteran Aware logo Armed Forces Covenant logo

General help

Veterans Gateway

The Veterans’ Gateway service is the first point of contact for all Tri-Service veterans, and their families. Its expert content covers welfare areas: housing, employment, finances, living independently, mental wellbeing, families and communities, and physical health.

Advice and support for veterans & ex-forces

The Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo)

It holds a database with all charities that provide support for serving personnel, service leavers and their families.

Members Directory Archive - Cobseo

The Royal British Legion 

The country’s largest Armed Forces charity

They provide lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families wherever and whenever it’s needed.

Royal British Legion


SSAFA helps the armed forces community in a number of ways, such as providing direct support to individuals in need of physical or emotional care.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

ASDIC -The Association of Service Drop-In Centres

It represents and links veterans’ Drop-Ins across the country.  Sometimes called Hubs or Centres, Drop-Ins offer a variety of welfare and mental health support, together with comradeship and a sense of wellbeing, to the ex-military community and their families, and ASDIC helps them to enhance the service they can provide and make them more accessible.

Association of Service Drop-In Centres

Walking with wounded

They deliver employment, mental health, care coordination and volunteering programmes in collaboration with the NHS to get those who served, and their families, whether mentally, socially or physically wounded, back on their feet and making a positive contribution once more.

Walking With The Wounded

Help for heroes

Helping veterans, service personnel and their families

They provide physical, psychological, financial and welfare support for as long as you need it. They also support the families of wounded veterans because they too can be affected by their loved one’s wounds.

Help for Heroes

Defence Transition Services

Run by the MOD’s Veterans UK

It exists to provide information and support for those service leavers and their families who are most likely to face challenges as they leave the armed forces and adjust to civilian life.

Help for service leavers from Defence Transition Services

Op Nova

Provides support for veterans who are in contact with the justice system, enabling them to access the services they need.

Op Nova

The Warrior Programme

The programme enables individuals to manage their emotions and to develop the resilience, focus and motivation to succeed in today’s world. The programme has been developed over the last fifteen years to meet the demands and challenges experienced by past and present members of the armed forces and their families.

The Warrior Programme




The CTP provides resettlement recruitment services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP employment support when leaving Service.

Resettlement for Ex-Service Personnel | Ex Armed Forces Recruitment from CTP

The Poppy Factory

The Poppy Factory supports veterans with health conditions on their journey into employment, helping them overcome any barriers.

The Poppy Factory

The Forces Employment Charity

They provide life-long, life-changing support, jobs and training opportunities to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families.

RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity

Step into Health

Through Step into Health, members of the Armed Forces community can connect to NHS organisations to set up training opportunities, clinical and general work placements, insight days and receive application support. The programme provides a dedicated pathway into a career in the NHS.

Step into Health


It offers tailored employability support to Armed Forces veterans and the families of those currently serving. Courses and support are tailored to suit the requirements of those who need it.


Building Heroes

Building Heroes are helping those that have kept us safe with a seamless transition into the civilian workplace through training leading to a gateway of construction employment opportunities.

Building Heroes

Mental health

OP Courage

The new name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and Veterans’ Mental Health High-Intensity Service (HIS)

Op Courage is the Veterans mental health and wellbeing service. It provides specialist care and support for Reservists, Service leavers and their families.

Mental health support for veterans, service leavers and reservists


Togetherall offers online mental wellbeing support 24/7 where you can share your concerns with others who feel like you. It’s safe, anonymous and has counsellors available. This service is free to all armed forces personnel, veterans and their families (16+).


Combat Stress

If you need to talk to somebody, Combat Stress have a dedicated mental health support helpline for veterans and their families. This provides confidential advice and support 24/7 and is free to call for veterans, family members and carers.

Combat Stress

Sexual trauma experience (NHS)

There are sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped sexually assaulted or abused. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you. Help is available 24 hours a day.

Help after rape and sexual assault

Health & Social Care

Defence medical welfare service

They provide medical welfare to the armed forces, veterans, NHS staff, emergency services, The Merchant Navy and their immediate family when they are receiving treatment in hospital.

DMWS – Defence Medical Welfare Service

OpRESTORE (formerly Veterans Trauma Network)

The Veterans Trauma Network (VTN) is now called Op RESTORE: The Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service.  This brings the service in line with other Armed Forces healthcare services provided by the NHS in England, Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service; Op NOVA; Supporting Veterans in the Justice System and, most recently Op COMMUNITY; Armed Forces Community Support, helping to build a recognisable suite of services.

Op RESTORE is a service for anyone who has served at least one day in the UK Armed Forces and, as a result of their service, acquired a significant, lasting physical illness or injury. Op RESTORE will continue to accept only GP referrals; GPs can obtain a referral form by emailing

VTN Overview.pdf

Blind Veterans UK

Blind Veterans UK helps ex-Service men and women of every generation rebuild their lives after sight loss. They provide rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to blind veterans.

Blind Veterans UK - Rebuilding Lives After Sight Loss

Veterans Hearing

The UK Veterans Hearing Foundation was created to help UK Veterans of all ages, ethnicities and gender to be able to access quality hearing aids, with support for associated tinnitus and mental health issues caused by their military service.

Funding & Support For Hearing, Tinnitus & Mental Health - UK Veterans Hearing Foundation

Prosthetics Services across UK

Nine Disablement Service Centres (DSCs) across England have been selected to provide enhanced services to veterans who have lost a limb as a result of their service in the armed forces.

  • Bristol – Bristol Centre for Enablement, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Leicester – Leicester Specialist Mobility Centre, provided by Blatchford Clinical Services on behalf of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • Sheffield – Mobility and Specialised Rehabilitation Centre, Northern General Hospital
  • Carlisle – Disablement Services Centre, Cumberland Infirmary, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Preston – Specialist Mobility & Rehabilitation Centre, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Stanmore – Stanmore Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust
  • Portsmouth – Prosthetic Regional Rehabilitation Department, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Birmingham – West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Cambridge – Addenbrooke's Rehabilitation Clinic, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

In addition to providing support to nine DSCs, a Veterans' Prosthetics Panel (VPP) was established in 2012. The VPP was designed to ensure that veterans could access high-quality prosthetics regardless of which DSC they attend. Applications for funding from the VPP are made by a veteran's prosthetist.

The National Prosthetics Service (NPS) is Scotland's centre for designing and fitting prosthetic limbs.

Blesma UK

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight in the honourable service of our country.

Military Charity for Limbless Veterans | Blesma

Disablement Services Centres (NHS)

They offer prosthetics, artificial limbs, orthotics, wheelchairs, complex seating systems and environmental controls.

Disablement Service Centres in the UK - Focus on Disability


Breakfast clubs

There you can socialise- meet people who breathe and speak the same language as you, share the same experience and get help if you need it:

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs

The Not Forgotten Association

They provide events for wounded serving personnel and disabled veterans, which improve physical and mental health, address isolation and loneliness, and promote a sense of community and balance. This enables beneficiaries to live a normal, if not better life.

The Not Forgotten

The RBL Network for Carers

The purpose of this network is to help Armed Forces carers feel less lonely and isolated because of their caring role.

RBL Network for Carers


Rehab Recovery (Addictions)

Rehab Recovery is able to recommend specific addiction treatments applicable for members of the armed forces and veterans. Learn about a range of evidence-based treatments for your needs or the needs of your loved ones.

Rehab Recovery

GamCare (Gambling) 

GamCare provides free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling and also operates the National Gambling Helpline, either over the phone or via web chat, plus a moderated online Forum and chatrooms.


East of England Gambling Service

A collaboration between CNWL and the Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, the East of England Gambling Service is free and run by the NHS. 

East of England Gambling Service


STOLL (Housing)

They provide affordable, high-quality housing and support services to enable vulnerable and disabled veterans to lead fulfilling, independent lives.


NHAS (National Homelessness Advice Service)

They take positive steps to prevent homelessness and improve access to housing among ex-Service personnel and their families.

Housing options for ex service personnel PDF


Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services. For free and independent advice from Shelter, visit:

Shelter England

Op Fortitude

Op FORTITUDE is the pathway for veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness into supported housing or to keep them in their current home.

Op Fortitude

The Armed Forces family members

Army Families Federation

The AFF is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world – on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle. and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world.

Army Families Federation

SCISS- (Supporting Children in State Schools)

Service Children In State Schools (SCISS) is a voluntary affiliated network of state-maintained schools in England that have any number of Service children on roll.


Scotty’s Little Soldiers

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting children & young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.

Scotty's Little Soldiers

Reading Force

Supporting Forces and Ex-Forces families with free fun shared reading resources and activities.

Reading Force

Op Community

It is an easily accessible point of contact with a dedicated email and phone number to support the Armed Forces community family members and carers navigating the NHS systems and prevent disadvantage with due regard to the Armed Forces Covenant. They will be able to assist directly with your query or be able to provide advice on avenues of support.

Op Community

Little Troopers

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all children with one or both parents serving in our British Armed Forces (regular or reserve).

Little Troopers

The Ripple Pond

Supports adult family members of physically or psychologically injured British Armed Forces personnel and veterans.