Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – the three specialist NHS mental health services for veterans
In the South East of England these three services are:
- The Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)- provides a first point of contact for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
- The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)- offers treatment for a range of military related difficulties, including PTSD, depression, anger, and other complex mental health difficulties.
- The Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS) - for veterans and their families in need of urgent mental health support or at a high risk of a mental health crisis - that's us!
The name has been developed by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces Patient and Public Voice following feedback from the Armed Forces community to make it easier for those leaving the military and veterans to get help.
The Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS) provides care and treatment for former armed forces personnel (veterans) who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent help.
The South East High Intensity Service forms one element of Op Courage “The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service”. The service is here to support veterans, provide stability, help access other services and provide support for family and loved ones.
We work in partnership with charitable and voluntary organisations and alongside specialist Mental Health services to jointly provide urgent support to those Veterans who are struggling to keep themselves safe or finding their experiences overwhelming and exceeding their ability to cope. We can provide:
- support to crisis mental health services for veterans in need of urgent or emergency care
- support to community mental health teams and inpatient services for veterans presenting with complex needs or struggling to engage with services
- case coordination and stabilisation for veterans and their carers who are struggling to find or engage with services to meet their needs
- support and care for family members and carers where they need it
Help is available to all former members of the British armed forces and their family and carers. From all ranks who have received one day’s pay or more in the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Royal Air Force.
We also support any veteran who has served or is serving with the Army Reserves, Royal Navy Reserves, Royal Marine Reserves or Royal Air Force Reserves.
To be eligible to receive support from the HIS, veterans must meet the following criteria:
- Be considered to be part of the ordinary resident population of England.
- Have served in the UK Armed Forces for a minimum of one full day.
- Be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with one.
- Be able to provide their military service number or another form of acceptable proof of service (this will be confirmed after a referral is received and access to 111 or crisis support will not be determined by meeting this criteria).
The High Intensity Service (HIS) will be there to support you, to provide stability, help you to engage with other services and provide support for your family.
Please note this is not a crisis service. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact 111 or your local crisis team. If you need immediate medical attention, call 999 or visit A&E.
How HIS can help you
- access appropriate mental health support if you are not already under the care of a mental health team.
- better engage with a mental health service. You may already be under the care of a mental health service but are finding it difficult to engage with the service or you may need more intense support than is being provided. HIS will help improve engagement to ensure your needs are being met.
- access support to manage complex social needs, such as housing and employment, that may be affecting your mental health
- work alongside mental health teams to provide veteran specific knowledge and understanding
HIS provides short-term support and cases are reviewed after 12 weeks. The service is a collaboration between NHS and third sector partners, Walking with the Wounded and All Call Signs, who provide Veteran Liaison Support Officers and Peer Support Workers as part of our High Intensity Service.
To refer yourself or a member of your family, please:
- download and complete this referral form and email it to: email@example.com The form will ask you for:
- your contact details
- your service number (this must be provided)
- a description of the difficulties you are experiencing
If you are a family member, who is seeking help, you will also have to provide us with the service number of the person in the family who is a veteran.
- You can refer yourself by calling 023 9438 7924 and providing the above information over the telephone. The telephone line is available weekdays (Mon-Fri) 9am -5pm, excluding bank holidays
HIS will accept referrals from health and care professionals including third sector organisations. Referrals can be for veterans and their families who:
- are already under the care of a mental health team but who would benefit from increased support from HIS
- or who are not receiving supporting from any mental health services
To refer, please either:
- download and complete this referral form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- call 023 9438 7924, weekdays (Mon-Fri) 9am -5pm, excluding bank holidays
Professionals must ensure they have the consent of the person they are referring as their service number before submitting a referral.
This service provides:
- A service that has been designed by veterans, for veterans and that employs veterans – improving their experience and likely engagement with treatment
- A joined -up experience of care – reducing the feeling of being passed around the system
- A better experience for veterans struggling with mental health problems, leading to improved health, reduced hospital stays and serious incidents and a higher quality of life
- Greater opportunity for family, friend and carer involvement and improved outcomes for all
The HIS is provided by a partnership of well-established expert organisations, including:
- Solent NHS Trust – who are the lead provider
- Veteran’s support charity Walking With The Wounded
- Southern Health Trust Foundation Trust
- South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- Isle of Wight NHS Trust
- Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
- Surrey and Boarders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
The HIS employs clinical staff who will have the appropriate skills to support veterans and local NHS teams when the veteran is in crisis or is admitted to a mental health inpatient ward. This will include a team of psychologists, mental health professionals, peer support workers and Veteran Liaison and Support Officers – some of whom will be veterans themselves.
Veteran’s Mental Health Services, High Intensity Service (HIS) Privacy notice – What you need to know about how we handle your data?
- Type of personal information being processed
This service is available to veterans or their loved ones, from across the South East of England, in need of support, from a High Intensity Service. If you have opted into using this service, Solent NHS Trust will hold the following information relating to yourself;
- Demographic details, including but not limited to; Name, address, DOB, telephone number, other contact details and Next of Kin
- Information relating to the support and services provided, during your support sessions, including but not limited to; medical records, assessments, appointments, advice and signposting
- Medical History – If you have been or are being seen by another Mental Health Provider. This will allow us to ensure that the care and advice we provide, is based on the most-up-to date care plans and assessments and that we don’t duplicate advice or requests for information, nor do we constrict care plans.
- How we obtain your personal information and why we have it?
The information we hold about you will come from a number of routes, as outlined below, but again not limited to;
- Referral: we obtain and record information, from your referral into the service, so that we can assess your need for support and the best support options available. Your referral may be a self-referral, referral from another Mental Health Provider or a referral from the 111 service. You will be informed by the referring service, that a referral is being made to the Veteran HIS.
- Medical History: If you have been or are being seen by another Mental Health Provider, we will advise you that we will be obtaining this information from your previous / current Mental Health Provider. This will allow us to ensure that the care and advice we provide, is based on the most-up-to care plans and assessments and that we don’t duplicate on advice or requests for information, nor to do we constrict care plans.
- Yourself: Information provided to any of the support avenues, offered as part of this service, by yourself, will be documented within our records.
- Legal basis for processing and sharing your data
Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2016, please be advised that our legal basis for processing and sharing your information, relating to this service provision, is not consent, but as outlined below.
- Article 6 (1)(c) – processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject
- Article 6 (1) (e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
- Article 9 (2)(h) – processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health and social care systems and services
- For the purposes of Article 9, (2) (h) of the GDPR (processing for health or social care purposes etc), the circumstances in which the processing of personal data is carried out subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in Article 9, (3) of the GDPR (obligation of secrecy) include circumstances in which it is carried out
a. by or under the responsibility of a health professional or a social work professional, or
b.by another person who in the circumstances owes a duty of confidentiality under an enactment or rule of law.
- How we store your personal information
SystmOne: Your record of service provision and support, will be recorded on Solent NHS Trust’s Electronic Patient Records System, known as SystmOne. For the purpose of this service provision, the unit of SystmOne used is a standalone unit and will only be accessed by those, within the Veteran HIS, as outlined below.
- Who has access to your information / who do we share it with?
The following roles will have access to your Veteran HIS records;
- Mental Health Lead – each locality across the South East England, will have a designated Mental Health Lead, working within the service, who will provide you with specialist clinical support and assessments. This Practitioner will also be the one accessing any current / previous Mental Health History.
- Other clinical roles – including the Clinical Director and Clinical and Governance Lead for the service; where required to consultant / support the provision of the service and your care
- Administrative staff within the Veteran HIS Service – will have administrative access, allowing them to support the provision of the service, including booking and rearranging appointments, communicating information with yourself, etc…
- This service is in partnership with two Veteran Services (All Call Signs and Walking With the Wounded), who will have access to your Veteran HIS Record. They will have access to your records for the provision of service support, in either one of the following roles;
- Peer Support Workers (PSW): Every client referred into the HIS will be communicated with by a PSW within eight hours, at a time appropriate for the client. In the first instance (after a SCAS 111 referral) the PSW’s job is to make initial contact with the client ensuring they have a good understanding of what the HIS is and what the next steps will look like, as well as managing expectations on timeline. PSWs can be attached to clients from their first day as a HIS client to their last, however long that may be.
- Veteran Liaison Support Officers (VLSO): VLSOs will collaborate with PSWs to provide more intensive, face to face support. Meeting very regularly (2 or 3 times a week at times) for a period of 6 – 13 weeks, the VLSOs role is to remove as many social and individual barriers as possible, so the client and their family have more in-community support than they did prior to when they were referred in to the service. By working with local authorities, housing teams, addiction and Criminal Justice services as well as other 3rd sector organisations and more, with the aim of clients feeling more able to cope on their own ready to be supported by a PSW once again. Reducing debt, isolation and empowering someone to move forward and work with other services is all someone needs at times.
We will share limited information with the following services, who are outside of the Veteran HIS Service;
- Current Mental Health Providers – a summary of the support given and the latest care plan, will be shared with your current Mental Health Provider (where applicable), and be added to their medical records
- Onward Referrals – if you are referred onto another service, a referral form will be completed and key information, relevant to the referral and your ongoing care and support will be shared with them. You will be informed of any referrals.
- Further Information
For more information on how Solent NHS Trust processes your data, including your rights under Data Protection Legislation, can be found https://www.solent.nhs.uk/about-us/publication-scheme/your-information-your-rights/