Supporting the Armed Forces Community

At the Royal Free London, we acknowledge that everyone who serves or who has served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect, including regulars, reservists, veterans, spouses, partners, children and dependants.


Proud to be Veteran Aware

In November 2022, the Royal Free Hospital was granted Veteran Aware status by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).


The Royal Free London has undertaken measures to achieve Veteran Aware status including establishing links to appropriate nearby veteran services including mental health care and appointing two veterans champions within the trust. The champions are Lt Col Lucy Lamb (clinical) and Gary Tolometti (non-clinical).


As a Veteran Aware trust, we are committed to :

  1. Ensuring the Armed forces community do not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the area where they live in the provision of public and commercial services.
  2. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and bereaved.

The trust has plans in place to improve the way patients, as veterans, are identified and to raise awareness within the trust of veterans and the additional healthcare support they may need, including:


In hospital

  • make information, including a leaflet and posters, available to veterans and their families explaining what to expect.
  • train staff to be aware of veterans’ needs, that they should not face disadvantage and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases.
  • inform staff if a veteran or their GP has told the hospital they have served in the Armed Forces.
  • ensure veterans and their partners who have moved as a result of Armed Forces service do not lose their place on any waiting list.
  • signpost to extra services that might be provided to the Armed Forces community by a charity or service organisation in the hospital.


After a hospital stay

We will investigate what services are available in their locality and which patients would benefit from being referred to services such as:


  • NHS England’s Op Courage High Intensity Service (HIS), Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TILs) mental health service for Armed Forces personnel approaching discharge and veterans.  
  • recovery and welfare services for veterans provided by service charities and organisations either in local centres or through staff embedded in NHS providers.
  • rehabilitation services provided by service charities and organisations.
  • prosthetics through services at the enhanced ‘Murrison’ disablement support centres.  
  • support from Veterans UK on service-related financial and/or benefit claims.


Useful links:


RFL commitment to the Armed Forces community

The Royal Free London is a forces-friendly employer and holds a Ministry of Defence Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award.


Having previously held the silver award, the progression to gold and the highest award in the scheme, highlights the trust’s commitment to our Armed Forces community.


At the Royal Free London we are also a proud signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant.