Veterans' health

Last updated: 16 July 2020

Speak to your local GP first if you're a veteran with health problems.

The Armed Forces Covenant promises that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The Scottish Government explains how we will meet this promise in the Renewing our Commitments publication on gov.scot.

Right to priority treatment

As a veteran, you will not be at a disadvantage when you need healthcare. NHS Scotland will give veterans priority treatment for conditions relating to their service. But, you will only get priority if you are the patient with the greatest clinical need at the time. This is the same for serving armed forces staff.

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner made recommendations to the Scottish Government about the health and wellbeing of veterans. You can find out about the progress of the recommendations on the Scottish Veterans Commissioner's website.

NHS inform explains veterans' health rights and the services available to them.

Health board and local council veterans champions

Every health board and local council has an Armed Forces and Veterans Champion. They are usually a senior official or elected councillor. They volunteer to support veterans in their area and to uphold the promise of the Armed Forces Covenant. You can contact your local Champion with questions about accessing services and support.

Healthcare support

Veterans First Point was developed by veterans to help ex-service men and women and their families adjust to civilian life. This includes help with:

  • physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • family and relationships
  • housing
  • socialising
  • education
  • employment

They have drop-in centres across Scotland. Find your nearest centre.

Combat Stress gives free specialist treatment to ex-service men and women for mental health and stress problems.

Phone: 0800 138 1619

Text: 07537 404 719

Find out about call charges

Prosthetics services

The National Prosthetics Service (NPS) is Scotland's centre for designing and fitting prosthetic (artificial) limbs. If you've lost a limb due to your service in the armed forces and were not fitted with a prosthetic at that time, you can discuss a referral to the NPS with your local GP.

Other support

There are organisations that provide free support for veterans and their families. Many provide healthcare support. You can also see a full list of the Veterans Scotland member charities on their website.