Veterans Rehabilitation Project

A research project carried out by Sarah Barker, Occupational Therapist, and Maisy Provan, Physiotherapist.

NHS England is committed to raising awareness among healthcare professionals of Veterans’ needs. The Military Covenant health commitments are included in the NHS Constitution and Mandates and form part of the contract with every NHS commissioned provider. This helps to ensure all healthcare professionals will be considerate of these services. Veterans and Armed Forces issues, including the role of the Covenant, now form part of the curriculum for all GPs nationally and are tested in the Royal College of General Practitioners membership exam.

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers, including acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts, who have volunteered to be exemplars for the best care and support to the armed forces community. The model identifies patients who work or have worked in the military with a focus on patient centred care, thus tailoring services and the approach to their individual needs. As part of the VCHA, in the context of patient need, Getting It Right First Time  (GIRFT) and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) plan to carry out a review of rehabilitation services currently accessible to veterans and NHS patients using GIRFT methodologies.

Rehabilitation clinicians undertaking this project aim to create care pathways and a set of clinical recommendations for veterans in the NHS. This project will consider rehabilitation in the Ministry of Defence, to aid the transition of military personnel in to NHS care.

The initial focus will be on:

  • MSK, specifically hip, knee, ankles and back
  • Chronic pain
  • Psychological effects of injury

The review will be a mixture of face to face visits and virtual meetings to engage with services and identify best practice within these areas. This knowledge will drive change in rehabilitation services to meet “best practice” standard. Following this review, the aim of the project is to develop a model and pathways that may be employed at additional centres for veterans. By defining best practice within rehabilitation services, we will be able to support current NHS services as well as forward planning for the care pathways to be utilised in veteran rehabilitation centres in the future.

The team will be led by Professor Tim Briggs, National Clinical Improvement Director for NHS England & Improvement and GIRFT Chair. The review will be carried out by rehabilitation clinicians Sarah Barker (Occupational Therapist) and Maisy Provan (Physiotherapist).

For any further information please contact either Sarah or Maisy by emailing or

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