The report outlines how the Government has been fulfilling its responsibility to ensure the military community are not disadvantaged as a result of their service.
Key accomplishments for 2018/19 include:
- The creation of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to co-ordinate and drive government activity to support veterans
- Introduction of flexible service allowing regular personnel to temporarily work part time
- The launch of the Future Accommodation Model pilot, looking at how the accommodation offer for service personnel can be improved
- Extension of the Forces Help to Buy scheme to December 2022, helping armed forces personnel to get on the property ladder
- 1,000 new signings of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019, taking the total of signatories to over 4,000
- Approximately £5 million of funding for the Department of Work and Pensions to bolster the role of its Armed Forces Champions across the country
As set out in the Queen’s Speech this week, the Armed Forces Covenant will be further incorporated into law over the course of this Parliament. The legislation will seek to strengthen current arrangements to remove disadvantage and improve the consistency of Covenant outcomes for the Armed Forces community.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:
“Our armed forces make many sacrifices in defending our nation, so it’s only right we do all we can to ensure personnel are not disadvantaged. This report clearly demonstrates we are taking this responsibility seriously, with schools better able to cater for service children, improved access for veterans to healthcare, and the Covenant reaching its 4000th signing.
“Of course, there is still work to be done and I look forward to the role that the Office for Veterans’ Affairs will play in providing our people with the support they deserve.”
Further support delivered this year includes:
- £23.1 million of Service Pupil Premium funding is being distributed to over 10,000 schools across England in 2019-20, benefiting over 77,000 current and former service children
- The Forces Families Jobs website has been launched, providing free access to employment and training opportunities to families in the armed forces
- £116 million has been invested in the improvement and modernisation of Service Family Accommodation in 2018/19
Health and wellbeing
- The NHS launched the armed forces personnel in transition, Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans Framework offering personalised care for armed forces personnel who have complex and enduring medical conditions that are attributable to injury whilst in service
- The Veterans Trauma Network, providing specialist care to veterans with service-specific traumatic injuries, expanded into Wales in October 2019
- The Scottish Government in partnership with NHS Scotland and Combat Stress will continue to provide funding of £1.4 million per year until 2021 for the Specialist Mental Health Services and Veterans First Point Network
- 285 additional GP practices in England were accredited as ‘veteran friendly’