Tri-Service Families Federations launch Duty and Care: Armed Forces Family Mobility and Health Care Report
News: 21st February 2022
Today the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations launch the ‘Duty and Care: Armed Forces Family Mobility and Health Care’ report. This report provides practical recommendations to inform and tackle disadvantage as well as improve health outcomes for families required to move frequently due to Service need.
This study, supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the MOD Families Team, was conducted by the Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and sponsored by the three Families Federations. Families have shared their experiences to form the basis of this research and as the Foreword says, “Their voices are the most important ones here”.
The recommendations were co-created by key stakeholders to identify the clearest possible lines of responsibility and accountability.
Top line recommendations are:
- Gaining confidence of families – that the Service will support them, but the Service needs to be kept informed about any health factors that might affect postings
- Building on existing frameworks – to support postings – ensuring that information is captured effectively
- Encourage families to identify current and potential needs to primary care
- Expand the education and training of all NHS staff to understand the needs of mobile military families
- Provide more information to military families on the variable nature of the NHS, particularly when moving across devolved national borders
- Improving transfer of information – the transfer of health care records between primary care organisations
- Continuity of care, using remote access
- Creating single points of contact for Armed Forces families to seek advice
- Dentistry – look for ways to support Service families seeking dental care
Access the report
Click here to access the report.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty says:
“As a former soldier, I know only too well that families are the backbone of our Armed Forces. But unlike Serving personnel, they haven’t chosen this career, so it is even more important we give them the support they need. One of the greatest challenges faced by military families is access to quality health care.
“That’s why I very much welcome the practical recommendations set out in Anglia Ruskin University’s excellent report published today.
“Anglia Ruskin University and the Families Federations have played their part… Now it is our turn. Our upcoming Families Strategy will work hand-in-glove with the NHS, care providers, MOD, single Services and the Families Federations to translate this advice into action.”
Forces in Mind Trust Professor of Veterans and Families Studies, Michael Almond says:
“Through interviews with military families and those with responsibility for providing, commissioning and advising on health care for military families we were able to deliver this report which provides practical and operational recommendations for policy and practice, directed at care providers, the NHS, MOD, and families themselves, to tackle disadvantage and improve health outcomes for those families required to move frequently as a result of Service need.”
The Royal Navy’s Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Martin Connell CBE says:
“The wellbeing of our Naval families is a vital factor in the effectiveness of our operations, so I welcome initiatives that provide our families with the support they deserve.
“Military life creates a number of disruptive challenges for families to contend with, not least of which is the occasional requirement to move as duty demands.
“This can disrupt or interrupt access to quality health care or education, so Anglia Ruskin University’s comprehensive report, sponsored by the Naval Families Federation and its partner organisations, will prove a valuable asset in improving the service and support provided to families.
“The fact that the report draws directly on families’ experiences gives the recommendations particular weight, and it is now down to the MOD, the three Services, NHS England, care providers and the families federations to ensure that these recommendations are converted into practical measures.
“We are proud of our Naval families, just as we are proud of our sailors and marines, and we must ensure that all members of the wider Naval family have unhindered access to the first-class health care provided by our wonderful NHS.”
If you experience issues or concerns regarding your family’s health care you can contact us where our health and wellbeing subject lead can be on hand to help.