Thursday 9th September 2021

The RAF Families Federation organised focus groups to allow NHS England and NHS Improvement understand your experiences of NHS services. Read here what they are planning to do to help…

Improving health and wellbeing support for Armed Forces families

The NHS in England provides healthcare services for the families of Serving personnel (Regulars and Reservists) who have registered with an NHS GP practice, and the families of veterans. We know, however, that not everyone in the NHS understands the specific health needs of Armed Forces families and what they are entitled to under the Armed Forces Covenant. We also know that some Armed Forces families have problems getting the right care and support, which can present further challenges and difficulties for them.

To help improve support for these families, some parts of England have established Armed Forces community support networks, which focus on improving their experience of health services. Whilst feedback on these is generally positive, in many areas these links are informal and not as well developed as they might be.

Considerate of the above, NHS England and NHS Improvement wanted to gather the views and experiences of Armed Forces families, and the organisations which support them, to help identify how the NHS can improve care, treatment and support. It also wanted to explore whether setting up Armed Forces families support networks might help. In order to capture views and experiences, an engagement took place between 30 September and 30 November 2020. This was supported by a questionnaire and series of online focus groups and one-to-one interviews to gather feedback.

You can find the original survey overview here, Improving health and wellbeing support for armed forces families in England

You said we will do

Engagement feedback has been independently analysed by NEL Commissioning Support Unit2 and is summarised in a separate report, which has been considered by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces Oversight Group to inform actions and next steps.

This document includes the key findings from the engagement report, what respondents said the NHS needs to do to make improvements in this area and what action we will take to help achieve this.

Click on the image below to access the report:

Improving health and wellbeing support for Armed Forces families

Engagement findings

Opportunities for Armed Forces families to have their say were promoted through NHS England and NHS Improvement’s website, social media (including paid-for advertising), statutory and voluntary sector partners’ channels, Forces TV and radio broadcasts.

The feedback has been independently analysed by NEL Commissioning Support Unit4 and is summarised in this document. These findings have been shared with decision makers to help shape what support could be put in place for Armed Forces families in the future. The NHS will continue to engage with Armed Forces families to ensure that any future support put in place meets their needs.

Click on the image below to access the report:

Improving health and wellbeing support for Armed Forces families

See also: Health & Wellbeing

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