Healthcare for RAF Serving Personnel and mobilised Reservists
Results from the 2019 UK Tri Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey (FamCAS) suggest that a number of Service families have difficulty with accessing NHS healthcare after being posted. The following information aims to inform RAF Serving Personnel and mobilised Reservists of how healthcare works for them and how it differs from healthcare provision for their families and non-mobilised Reservists. It is hoped that this information will help Service families access healthcare more successfully, particularly when moving.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has commissioned Defence Medical Services (DMS) to provide primary, dental, rehabilitation, mental health, overseas, occupational and operational healthcare services for Serving personnel and mobilised reservists. Some RAF bases allow family members to register with the DMS Medical Centre on base. To find out if this is the case for you visit the MOD website and search for the relevant station and then click on the ‘Facilities’ tab. Under the Health and Welfare section, there will be information about the Medical Centre and who is eligible to use it.
The majority of RAF families will access and receive their healthcare through the NHS in exactly the same way as the rest of the population. This is also the case for non-mobilised Reservists and military veterans. The NHS in England is responsible for providing services such as dentists and opticians and shares responsibility for GPs with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The NHS website is a good way to find out what NHS services are available before moving to a new area in England. On this website, you will find information about how to ‘Find a GP’ and ‘Find a dentist’. When you register with an NHS GP or find a dental practice, you should tell the practice that you are a member of a serving Armed Forces family, so this can be added to your patient notes. This helps to ensure that you are treated in line with the Armed Forces Covenant.
Visit the NHS Section of our website for more information about healthcare for RAF families.
As well as the current Coronavirus advice and guidance, the RAF FF’s website provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date generally with updates and information on new initiatives as they go live.