Scoping Review: A Needs Based Assessment and Epidemiological Community-Based Survey of Ex-Service Personnel and their Families in Scotland

Scoping Review: A Needs Based Assessment and Epidemiological Community-Based Survey of Ex-Service Personnel and their Families in Scotland

Appendix D: Summary of Progress Achieved Since the Implementation of the Scottish Government Commitment with Meeting the Needs of Veterans and Forces' Communities in Scotland since July 2008




Dental provision

  • Being met through measures being taken to improve dental access across Scotland

Health service awareness

  • Publication of educational literature:"Have You Served Your Country? Taking Care of Veterans" (A leaflet produced in collaboration with Veterans' associations in Scotland, NHS stakeholders and Citizens Advice Scotland was published in May 2008);"Life Force" (Guidance on how to provide support to Veterans with mental health problems published by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) in May 2008 and subsequently distributed to GP Practices and Primary Care services.)
  • Nomination of an individual within each NHS Board to monitor the treatment of Veterans.
  • Exploration of eHealth options to improve healthcare (Includes the possible flagging of Veterans' health records and the potential for GP records to follow personnel on joining the Service with a return to the GP on discharge.)

Priority treatment

  • Priority access for all Veterans with Service-related conditions

Mental health

  • Pilot of the delivery of evidence-based mental health services to Veterans ("Veterans First Point" became operational in March 2009 in the form of a "one-stop shop" located in Edinburgh with total funding to 2011 provided by means of a partnership involving Scottish Government (£640,000), NHS Lothian (£220,000), and the MoD (£70,000).
  • Extension and simplification of arrangements pertaining to the access of specialist mental health for Veterans resident in Scotland with services provided by Combat Stress (Hollybush House, Ayr) (Resources of £1.2 million have been made available per annum until 2011 through arrangements with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, the primary objective of which is to enhance the access for Veterans to specialist assessment, treatment, education, advice and welfare support irrespective of their war pension status.)
  • Financial assistance of £560,000 provided from 2008 to 2011 to Combat Stress. (To support the delivery improved community outreach and welfare services across Scotland.)

Prosthetic limb provision

  • Roll out of a £300,000 prosthetic limb project across Scotland, which was originally initiated in NHS Lothian Rehabilitation Centre. (To ensure that Veterans who lose limbs whilst on active service receive a similar standard of "state of the art" prosthetics from NHSScotland to that provided by the MoD Defence Medical Services.

NHS waiting list

  • Circular issued to all NHS Boards in January 2009 to confirm that previous waiting time for Service personnel and their families who move within Scotland or across the UK should be taken into account in providing treatment.




Preventing homelessness

  • Advice issued to Local Authorities (LAs) in Scotland regarding the insistence of a possession order. (June 2009)
  • Legislation on homelessness. (To be taken forward as part of the 2010 Housing Bill to ensure that employment and residence associated with the UK Armed Forces constitute a "local connection".)

Affordable housing

  • Priority access to shared equity schemes for all eligible Service personnel and Veterans who have left service within the previous 12 months.

Surplus MoD property

  • Circular issued to ensure that LAs work in co-operation with military establishments within their areas to locate suitable accommodation and to flag up availability within MoD vacant property (February 2009).
  • Discussions with MoD regarding the circulation of information pertaining to surplus MoD land and property within Scotland prior to going on the open market.

Adapted social housing

  • Circular issued to remind all social landlords that seriously injured Service personnel have a high priority to adapted social housing (February 2009).
  • Additional flexibility offered in respect of shared equity schemes managed by the "Registered Social Landlord" (either LAs or housing association) for seriously injured Veterans. (To ensure that the type of property meets individual requirements.)
  • Consideration of the needs of Veterans and their families under the aegis of the Scottish Government's review of social housing allocations policy. (Guidance will be forthcoming in early 2010.)

Disabled home owners

  • Enforcement of regulations to abolish means testing for disabled home owners who require housing adaptations as of the 1 April 2009.




Children of Forces' families

  • Provision of comprehensive information and support to Service families (including eligible MoD civilians) on education provision for their children in the UK and overseas. (Involves collaboration between the Scottish Government and the Children's Education Advisory Service.)
  • Requirement by the LAs to meet the additional support needs of all children whose education they are responsible for providing. (Of particular relevance to the children of Service families are the provision of support in respect of "interrupted" learning as a result of Service mobility requirements and coping with bereavement.)

Service leavers

  • Confirmation that the majority of those who have left service and who are resident in Scotland will be entitled to existing fee waiver support under the MoD scheme.
  • Confirmation that the majority of those who have left service and who are resident in Scotland are already eligible for free tuition under the provision made by the Scottish Government for standard student support.




Extension of "Blue Badge" scheme

  • Participation of Scottish Government officials in the current review to implement changes to the "Blue Badge" concessionary scheme, which is being led by the Department of Transport.
  • Establishment of a Blue Badge Reform Working Group to consider reforms being implemented in England (and proposed in Wales) to ensure that subsequent changes made in Scotland will be comparable with the rest of the UK.

Extension of "Concessionary Travel" scheme

  • Commitment to extend eligibility criteria from 1 April 2011 to include HM Service Personnel and Veterans (below 60 years of age) who suffered serious Service-related injuries and who are resident in Scotland. (This represented one of nine recommendations that derived from the report of the review of the Scottish Wide Free Bus Travel Scheme for Older and Disabled People published in May 2009.)




Flexible careers and Reservists

  • Improved signposting in respect of the availability of public sector jobs.
  • Statement of Employer Support issued by SaBRE (Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers) has been endorsed by the First Minister

Supported employment

  • Establishment of standards and outcomes as part of the Supported Employment Framework for those who encounter particular difficulty in gaining access to the labour market. (A package of support tailored to meet specific needs in this regard will be provided to facilitate employment prospects.)




Scottish Veterans Fund

  • Allocation of funding under the aegis of the Scottish Veterans Fund (SVF) of £240,000 over three years until 2010-11. (Created by the Scottish Government and administered by Veterans Scotland, the SVF has already supported awards totalling £160,000 for the combined period of 2008-2009.)

Armed Forces Advocate

  • The Scottish Government appointed Dr Kevin Woods (DG Health and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland) as the Armed Forces Advocate (AFA).
  • Establishment within the Scottish Government of an Armed Forces and Veterans' Issues team, the purpose of which is to: (i) provide support to the AFA, (ii) act as a "conduit" between policy areas and the MoD, and (iii) interact with relevant UK Departments regarding matters affecting the UK Armed Forces, their families and the Veterans' community.

Veterans Programme Scottish Steering Group

  • Meetings of the Veterans Programme Scottish Steering Group (VPSSG) seek to: (i) facilitate the exchange of information on Government-related initiatives, (ii) obtain the views of the Veterans' community in respect of these initiatives, and (iii) garner information about a variety of health and welfare issues concerning Veterans.

Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards

  • Scotland hosted the Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards 2009; a scheme that seeks to recognise and promote the successful partnership between the Defence Medical Services and civilian organisations involved in the provision of healthcare to the UK Armed Forces.

Direct engagement with the UK Armed Forces

  • Meeting of the Scottish Government with the heads of the tri-Services to address issues of concern to the UK Armed Forces community whose members are resident in Scotland, establish an effective means of working collaboratively to deliver the commitments made in July 2008.
  • Visits to operational bases in Scotland have been undertaken by Scottish Ministers to consult directly with Service personnel about issues of concern and to establish how best to meet their needs accordingly.


Email: Ewen Cameron

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