Armed Services (Ex-Military Personnel or Veterans)

Key Findings
  • Taken from Cheshire and Merseyside's Health Needs Assessment for Ex-Armed Forces personnel and their families (March 2013)

  • In general, the health of the military population is good compared with the general population, due to the expected physical fitness required to join the Armed Forces, social support networks, and access to health care and employment 

  • There are some conditions and/or issues however, which can be higher in the adult ex-Service community than the general adult population in Great Britain

  • Limited research suggests that alcohol misuse can be a problem in UK Armed Forces personnel and veterans (i.e it is more common than in the general population of people of the same gender and age)

  • Homelessness can be an issue for veterans and studies have reported that homeless veterans commonly cite alcohol and mental health problems as particular issues

  • Younger members of the Armed Forces returning from duty have been found to be more likely to commit violent offences than the rest of the population (the Lancet reported in 2013 that 20% of younger males (under 30) who were ex-Armed Forces had been convicted for violence offences, compared with 6.7% of civilian population of the same age and gender)

  • Men who had been exposed to more traumatic events during deployment - or misused alcohol after deployment, were at increased risk of committing violent offences, as were those with post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Research by Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust  found that wider health issues such as housing, martial breakdown/family issues and employment also have an impact on the health of veterans or serving personnel

  • More research is needed to better understand the effects of parental deployment on families, though some information suggests that deployment stress can place strain on families’ ability to cope and create an increased risk to children in already vulnerable families

Further Information

Screening military veterans for anxiety and depression in primary care (May 2021)

  • This briefing is reproduced from an article in the Journal of General Practice Nursing in April 2021. 

  • The aim of the project was to identify military veterans in one primary care centre, screen them for anxiety and depression, and offer them the most appropriate treatment and support.

  • The work highlights local work to support the health needs of Wirral residents as military veterans.

  • This article first appeared in the Journal of General Practice Nursing. To cite: Hurst H, Hardy S (2021) Screening military veterans for anxiety and depression. J General Practice Nurs 7(1): 61–4. 

Wirral JSNA Survey of AMMO veterans (2015)

Armed Service Veterans: population estimates for Wirral (2017) 
From Armed Services Veterans: population estimates for Wirral (as of October 2017)

  • There were an estimated 14,600 veterans living in Wirral in 2017, with around 7,500 aged under 65

  • Of those aged over 65, the majority is made up of the cohort of men obliged to complete National Service (around 7,000 in Wirral)

  • These ex-armed forces personnel numbers are likely to reduce significantly during the next 5 to 10 years

  • National estimates indicate that of Wirral’s total veteran population of 14,600, around 1,500 will probably be female

  • 40% of military veterans aged 16-64 had a health problem lasting or expected to last longer than 12 months compared to 35% of the general population in the UK aged 16-64

  • Using estimates is not ideal, as it may not take into account regional or local variation in rates of sign-up to the forces (due to regimental or service branch ties with certain areas for example). It is however, necessary, as definite information on the total number of veterans in the community is still lacking, both in the NHS and elsewhere