What ICBs can do to support the Armed Forces community

Prior to the Health and Care Act 2022, the responsibility for the commissioning of services for this community was held by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England, with the MOD providing some services, predominantly primary medical services, to those in Service.

On 1 July 2022, CCG commissioning responsibilities transferred to integrated care boards (ICBs) who are now responsible for commissioning services for veterans and families, who form part of their registered populations. NHS England continues to have commissioning responsibility for those patients registered with DMS. This includes Service personnel and entitled dependents, and bespoke specialised veteran services, namely Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and the Veterans Prosthetics Panel. This is delivered through a single national Armed Forces health team.

In early 2021 NHS England published ‘Healthcare for the Armed Forces Community: a forward view’ . This sets out NHS England’s nine commitments to improve healthcare services for this community and associated considerations for ICBs.

Assurance of integrated care boards

As part of the planning process and as a requirement of the Armed Forces Act (2022), ICBs are required to demonstrate how they are giving due regard to the health and social care needs of the Armed Forces community in the planning and commissioning of services.

It is for ICBs to determine how to do this; however, it is recommended that the key commitments from the Armed Forces Forward View could be used by ICBs as indicators to measure progress. This non-exhaustive list should be considered as a developmental checklist, which will evolve over time, rather than a pass/fail metric.

ICBs can find out more by emailing england.armedforceshealth@nhs.net