Veterans

New Care Network To Improve Support For Veterans In Scotland

The network aims to help former servicemen and women get quicker access to improved care. 

A new Scottish Veterans Care Network is being set up to improve support for those who need assistance after leaving the military. 

It is hoped the project will make it easier for ex-forces personnel to access help and upgrade the services on offer to support them. 

For many of the 220,000 veterans living in Scotland, transitioning into civilian life after service is straightforward, but for some it can be a huge challenge. 

The network will aim to bring together organisations to help former servicemen and women get quicker access to improved care. 

Dr Lucy Abraham, clinical lead of the Scottish Veterans Care Network, told Forces News: "It’s a real collaboration – a national strategic network.

"It's dealing with veterans and their issues, so we’ll be a kind of focal point. If people have needs, they can come to us to find the right services or if they want to be involved in that co-producing of services, then we’d love to hear from them as well."

Anonymous shadows of British Army Irish Guards on parade square
It is hoped the scheme will allow veterans to get quicker access to improved care (Picture: PA).

Experts from bespoke support services will work alongside other organisations to deliver support, targeting key areas that ex-service personnel have identified, such as mental health support. 

Dr Abraham added: "I hope Scotland will be leading the way in terms of care for veterans going forward.

"There’s a lot of good specialist services for veterans, but we also need to skill-up mainstream services, so no matter what door a veteran goes to, they know what sort of issues they’re facing."

The project also intends to improve access to services for those who need it, wherever they are in the country. 

Pauline Howie, chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, told Forces News: "We’re joining forces, coming together with veterans, with the NHS, with people from the MOD [Ministry of Defence], local authorities, to really facilitate learning and spread of good practice."