To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of mental health support services provided for armed forces veterans.
9 April 2021
All of NHS England’s commissioned services for veterans are evidence based, having been developed and delivered from intensive engagement with experts, members of the armed forces community and service charities. NHS England and NHS Improvement assesses need based on a variety of published data, research output and consultation and engagement exercises. As a result of these assessments, the Government and NHS England recently announced Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, which will ensure veterans know where to go for help. Op COURAGE combines three bespoke veterans’ mental health services to provide a complete mental health care pathway for veterans, with individuals benefiting from personalised care plans, ensuring they can access support and treatment both in and out of hours.
For veteran specific mental health services, in 2020-2021 NHS England provided £16.5m, which will be increased to £17.8m for 2021-2022.
Service charities are supported by the Government through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which benefits from £10m annually, and in both years an additional £10m has been allocated to support veterans’ mental health needs. During 2020, the COVID-19 Impact Fund has provided nearly £6m in grants to over 100 Armed Forces charities across the United Kingdom. Of the charities awarded funding, 68% of grants sampled supported members of the Armed Forces and veterans’ community for mental health and crisis support, and 77% for easing isolation and loneliness.