Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Access to veteran-specific supported housing and health care services at all-time high [August 2023]

The press release issued by the Cabinet Office on 24 August 2023.

The Government has worked with NHS England, housing providers and charities to provide record levels of dedicated support for veterans, as outlined in the latest six monthly report published by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs.

  • The Office for Veterans’ Affairs has today published the latest six monthly report
  • The UK Government is working to improve veteran care with dedicated support pathways, including the newly launch housing hotline – Op FORTITUDE
  • Dedicated health support has reached an all-time high, with at least one veteran-friendly GP practice in 71% of Primary Care Networks

The Government has worked with NHS England, housing providers and charities to provide record levels of dedicated support for veterans, as outlined in the latest six monthly report published by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) today.

Op FORTITUDE is a first-of-its-kind, central referral pathway for veterans facing homelessness. The £8.55 million programme aims to eliminate veteran homelessness by matching vulnerable former service personnel with supported housing across the country. It will be rolled out across 14 housing providers and hundreds of housing units by September and brings together Local Authorities and charities.

The Government is also working with NHS England to ensure all veterans can access mental and physical health care that caters to their unique needs. Access to accredited healthcare settings is at an all-time high. 71% of Primary Care Networks have at least one practice accredited as ‘veteran friendly’ and 75% of NHS trusts in England were accredited as ‘veteran aware’.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Rt Hon. Johnny Mercer MP, said:

This six-monthly report shows the incredible work done here at OVA and by our partners, which I’m immensely proud of. We’ve taken massive strides to making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran by making sure the right support is available.

We’ve made clear pathways for health care and housing, and are recognising the contributions and sacrifices veterans have made to national security and our local communities.

Going forward, this report sets out the OVA’s plans to publish a Women Veterans’ Strategy, roll out veterans ID cards and support veterans into employment.

Recognising the role of nuclear test veterans, many of whom will receive their dedicated medal ahead of Remembrance Sunday, is just one example of the many ways that the OVA recognises the positive contributions and challenges faced by veteran communities.

Another example is the historic review into the impact of the ban on LGBT personnel serving in the military prior to 2000 has been published, and was followed up with an official apology from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The Government also recently concluded a review investigating the effectiveness and efficiency of welfare services for Armed Forces Veterans. The Veterans’ Gateway, which has already supported over a million veterans and which provides information on financial matters such as pensions and compensation, in addition to other areas, will be transferred to the OVA in 2024.