NHS England

Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service

NHS England has released a brief on the forthcoming Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS), which is intended for veterans who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent and emergency care and treatment.

NHS England is currently in the process of commissioning regional pathfinder services across England to test the proposed model of care for the HIS.  These will be mobilised in June 2020 and run until the end of March 2022.  Learning and insight from the pathfinders will inform the development of a final integrated mental health service model for HIS that will be in place by April 2022.

As arrangements progress for this new service, further details will be shared.  In the meantime, if you have any queries, please email england.armedforceshealth@nhs.net.


As part of the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement are progressing arrangements to commission a High Intensity Mental Health Service (HIS) for veterans who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent and emergency care and treatment.

Commissioning of the HIS builds on progress made over the last few years with the launch of the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS). Whilst these two services have been welcomed and made a significant difference to the health outcomes of many veterans and their families, there is a cohort of veterans who are experiencing periods of crisis and may require admission to inpatient services or who may require a more bespoke offering, such as placements in specialist / niche services.

The HIS is intended to help meet these needs by providing an enhancement to existing crisis services and inpatient mental health services using the New Care Models for Mental Health Services programme approach. This means that the new service will be delivered through provider led mental health care collaboratives, comprising organisations from across the NHS and independent and third sectors. This approach is intended to fully join up mental health commissioning pathways so that coordinated decisions are made across provider collaboratives in the most effective way possible to improve outcomes for veterans with mental health conditions. As part of this, the network of providers must be managed by an organisation with experience of mainstream adult mental health services and include a provider with experience of delivering the TILS or CTS, as well as Armed Forces and other charities. The network will be expected to work with people with lived experience and their families, communities and social care to help improve patient experience.

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