Health care for RAF personnel


Health care for RAF personnel and their families

NHS Choices now has health care pages specifically for the Armed Forces Community and provides tailored information for serving personnel, families, reservists and veterans.

Serving Personnel

Serving personnel receive their health care from Defence Medical Services and health services commissioned by the Ministry of Defence. They should be registered with their local unit Medical Centre for primary health care and dentistry. Their first port of call for any health issue should be their Medical Centre. However, in cases of out of hours emergencies which require immediate and urgent medical care it may be appropriate to call an ambulance or attend the nearest Accident and Emergency unit.


The majority of families of serving personnel will receive their health care via the NHS as for any other citizen. NHS Choices provides a search facility for information about local GP services, NHS dentists, pharmacies and opticians in any particular area.

At some units families who live in Service Family Accommodation at the unit may register with the unit Medical Centres. Currently this applies to the units below.

RAF Benson

RAF Brize Norton

RAF Cosford

RAF Marham

RAF Wittering

RAF Valley

For more information about whether they are entitled to register at these and other units families can contact their local Hive.

Health care in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Health is a devolved responsibility therefore the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland assembly have responsibility for provision of health services in their regions. For more information on the NHS in these areas please follow the links below.

Scotland: NHS 24

Wales: NHS Direct

Northern Ireland NHS

Overseas health care

Health care for families who are posted overseas may be provided by the Ministry of Defence, local military unit or other local arrangements may exist. Families will be informed before they move of the specific arrangements that exist for health care in the country to which they are posted. If families have any special health care needs they should discuss these prior to accepting an overseas posting to ensure their needs can be met in the overseas location. See also: Overseas – Medical care

Defence Medical Welfare Service

The Defence Medical Welfare Service is a charity providing practical and emotional support to the Armed Forces and their families in the UK, overseas and whilst on operations.  The service provides support from a DMWS Welfare Officer in hospital, in the care of a hospital or in a rehabilitation or recovery centre. To find out more go to their website.

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