Support available

Health and Additional Needs – Support available if RAF SP or a family member has an additional need or disability

The Forces Additional Needs And Disabilities Forum (FANDF)

FANDF is a support group for those in the military who have a family member with an additional need or disability.  Membership is free and open to:

  • Parents of children with additional needs and disabilities from service families.
  • Partners/spouses of SP with a disability.
  • SP with a disability.
  • Carers of SP or their families.

Further details about FANDF.

FANDF and the SSAFA Additional Needs and Disability Advisor have compiled a guide for service families with family members who have additional needs and disabilities.

In January 2020, FANDF launched their 30th Anniversary report “Families Fighting On…” which includes the results of a survey undertaken with serving Forces families with additional needs and disability.  The report analyses the results and makes recommendations based on the survey’s key findings. 

Both the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA); and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund; may be able to help with support costs for RAF families who have a family member with an additional need or disability in certain circumstances.

The Armed Forces Chronic conditions and Disability in Defence (AF CanDiD) Network This network has been established to connect and support SP, family members and veterans diagnosed with, or caring for persons diagnosed with, a life-changing or life-limiting condition, impairment or disability.  The AF CanDiD Network aims to empower people so that they can help themselves and each other and to educate people by signposting to other networks and to Service welfare professionals. 

CanDiD can be contacted by emailing; [email protected]

Emails are then filtered to the relevant single service advocates who seek advice on behalf of the person who has emailed.

In addition, the RAF Families Federation’s Health and Additional Needs Policy Advisor attends meetings of the NHS England & Improvement Armed Forces Patient and Public Voice (AF PPV) group. 

The purpose of AF PPV is to:

  • Provide the NHS in England with an understanding of the challenges that the Armed Forces community face as a result of their service. 
  • Use networks to disseminate new NHS England initiatives that can help all members of the Armed Forces community understand what is available to improve understanding and access.
  • Identify practices that will improve health and social care pathways for the Armed Forces community when navigating the NHS England system.

AF PPV aims to act as a central point for Armed Forces health service users, communities, families and carers to ensure their voice is heard.  One of the ways in which this happens is through members of the Armed Forces community sharing their personal experiences of care within the NHS in England.  AF PPV are keen to hear about your NHS England experiences so that changes to policy and practice can be made to ensure that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged due to military service. 

If you feel that you would like to share an NHS experience, either positive or negative, then please contact me, Alison Cotton at [email protected].