Priority treatment for veterans Scotland.

Well as they say every little helps.

Guidance on how NHS priority treatment will be extended to all armed service personnel who have developed health problems as a result of service to their country was today issued to health boards.

Previously, war veterans were only entitled to priority treatment for conditions relating to service if they received a war pension.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon announced last year that all veterans would receive the same access as war pensioners.

The guidance issued to health boards today asks them to ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the new arrangements, which come into effect on February 29.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It is only fair that those who experience health problems as a result of serving for their country should get priority access to treatment.

"Our service men and women do a fantastic job and I hope that the new measures to improve support for them will be warmly welcomed."

Ron Smith, Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: "The veterans community in Scotland welcomes the willingness of the Scottish Government to engage with us to determine the most pragmatic way of implementing and monitoring the success of this new and much-needed policy, which is no more and no less than the country's recognition of its debt owed to Armed Forces veterans across Scotland."

The Scottish Government will shortly organise a workshop for individuals, representatives from veterans' organisations and representatives from Citizens Advice Scotland promote understanding of the new guidance.



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Plus, this is only available if the illness is related to your armed forces service. This does not nean that veterans will get automatic preferential treatment.
"this is only available if the illness is related to your armed forces service. This does not nean that veterans will get automatic preferential treatment.

quite true Auld-yin, but of course that depends on how you make your approach ;)

It more a case of awareness in the first place , my own GP practice will give Ex a same day appointment , the chavs and lepers can wait and fester for a while , Its just a case of getting the message accross.

This same article was posted HERE on 23/11/2007
HDL(2006) 16 applies to Scotland and lists priority

HDL (2006) 16
1. This letter has been issued as a reminder about the
arrangements for priority treatment of war pensioners and
updates and supersedes HDL(2004)07.
2. Chief Executives of NHS Boards and Trusts should
ensure that:
• General practitioners and relevant hospital staff are·
reminded of the arrangements for priority treatment; and
• Directors of Finance, General Practitioners, Dentists,
Opticians, Chiropodists and staff responsible for payment
of invoices and travel expenses are reminded of the
arrangements shown overleaf in Annex A.
3. In 1953 the Government gave an undertaking that there
would be priority out-patient and in-patient examination and
treatment for war pensioners in NHS hospitals for the condition
or conditions for which the war pensioners received a
pension or gratuity. In Scotland, funding for the provision of
medical and surgical services for war pensioners was transferred
to NHS Boards.
4. Referrals for treatment should make it clear that the
patient is a war pensioner. Priority should be given unless there
is an emergency case or another case demands clinical priority.
Priority should not be given for unrelated conditions.
Yours sincerely
(signed)Derek Feeley
Director of Healthcare Policy & Strategy

England has HSG(97)31 and
Wales has WHC (2005) 074
both of which say practically the same as HDL (2006)16

There is NO priority for veterans in Northern Ireland :( .

I have tried uploading the .pdf documents previously to no avail.

Hope this is of use
Just to be pedantic the above pdf for Scotland has been superseeded in light of the transition to Scottish self government, my original link is the reminder that the new arrangements come in to effect at the end of Feb.
However this should not detract from the fact that priority care should be made available, the thing is making it clear to the health authority that the patient is a veteran , I have left out word war , as in Scotland " all veterans would receive the same access as war pensioners." no cut off date,

whereas the pdf HSG (97)31 defines dates upto the 2nd Sept 1939 !

I may have the wrong end of the mills grenade, and will stand to be corrected.

When i received my War Pension Notification it said I should, where appropriate be referred to the nearest Military Medical facility where not available then should be treated by the NHS. I live in Scotland so I think the nearest appropriate Military Medical Facility is Basra and I don't think they issue Travel Warrants any more. If I go to my GP they have little if any interest in my previous Military Service they send you to the nearest Hospital where you are placed on the "Clinical" waiting list which means the Consultant will asses your treatment requirements the same as any other NHS patient as "Clinical" needs are always the priority. I was told that due to my young age I will not be treated at the moment as it would require repeating the replacement. I should wait until I'm older then I can have knee replacements which will last me a lifetime (20 years).

I am aware that there are others in greater need than me many of whom use this site but think that what they say and the reality of what they in fact do are a long way apart.
from BAFF's written evidence in June 2007 to the House of Commons Defence Committee's inquiry into medical care for the armed forces:


27. War pensioners and equivalent are supposed to be entitled to "priority NHS treatment" for the condition for which their pension was awarded. There are two problems with this provision. Firstly, many NHS staff are unaware of it, and it seems likely that awareness will diminish as time goes on. Secondly, priority "is a matter for clinical judgement based on clinical need which means that the case with the greatest clinical need will receive precedence" (MOD 2007). Since the prime criterion is clinical need, and NHS staff are also required to apply numerous targets none of which include "care for veterans", the priority entitlement appears in reality to be virtually meaningless.


And then we have this:
THERE is an "unacceptable" gap in medical treatment for Scottish war veterans because of a communication breakdown between the London and Edinburgh governments, a damning report by MPs will warn this week.
The MPs will say that Scottish ex-servicemen and women are being let down because Ministry of Defence and Scottish NHS chiefs have failed to properly work together to ensure medical cover.

Consequently, fast-track treatment which is automatically provided to ex-servicemen and women in England has not been offered to those north of the border.

The findings have prompted Scottish ministers to order a major shake-up of medical care which they claim will now boost the way veterans are treated.

The healthcare of serving personnel is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence, but once they have left the service veterans are transferred to the NHS.

But the MPs say many veterans simply fall through the gaps, with neither the NHS nor the MoD properly discharging their duty of care.

In a bid to stem the criticism, Scottish ministers have now agreed to ensure more veterans are fast-tracked in the NHS so that they receive the same care as in England.

Midlothian MP David Hamilton said: "We were shocked by the lack of knowledge that the Scottish officials had for the fast-track system. It seemed that the officials didn't really know that these things were available for veterans in Scotland."

He added: "I have never been so embarrassed in my life as when we listened to the NHS staff on this and none of them had a clue about w
hat we were asking them."

In a reply to the Defence Committee, the Scottish Government said it noted its "significant concerns".

In a letter to the committee, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon wrote: "There is, of course, a long-standing arrangement to provide priority treatment for war pensioners for the condition, or conditions, which gives rise to their war pension or gratuity."

She added: "I have decided to extend the priority treatment scheme to include those who have served in the armed forces and have a service-related medical condition but are not currently in receipt of such payments."

The MPs' report comes with the MoD under pressure after two coroners declared last week that the deaths of three British soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq could have been prevented had they not been denied potentially life-saving equipment – including weaponry and armoured vehicles.

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