- Veterans’ welfare services to be refreshed following Veterans’ Welfare Review, including improved Veterans’ Gateway.
- Government will confirm that it accepts most of the recommendations from the independent review.
- Veterans UK brand to be retired, with services and responsibilities across government clarified.
Veterans services in the UK are to receive a fresh start as the government today accepted the majority of recommendations from the Independent Review of UK Government Welfare Services for Veterans.
The Veterans UK brand will be retired next year, as part of a move to better communicate the variety of services which the MOD provides for veterans and the wider Armed Forces Community. The move will clarify the services on offer and the MOD will establish and communicate an appropriate replacement in due course.
It is a government priority to ensure that every veteran knows where to turn to access government support if they need it.
To help this, the Veterans’ Gateway will be improved, with user research already being undertaken, including involving veterans to help better target services.
To further clarify the roles and responsibilities across government and underlining the Office for Veterans’ Affairs central role in coordinating veterans’ support, the word ‘Veterans’ is being removed from the MOD Ministerial title ‘Minister for Defence People Veterans and Service Families’.
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs gave an update to the House of Commons today on progress of the Veterans’ Welfare Review, which marks a fresh start for veterans’ support services.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer said:
We are making huge strides with veterans’ care in this country but it is important that veterans know where to turn when accessing some of the services on offer.
That’s why we commissioned this independent review and today we’re accepting many of the recommendations they have made.
These changes will help veterans services become more effective, efficient and clear – ultimately benefiting veterans across the UK.
As the Veterans UK brand is retired, the Ministry of Defence will consider a more appropriate way to present the service they provide to the Armed Forces and veteran communities, to ensure individuals clearly understand what the MOD do to support them and how to access those services when they need them.
Minister for Defence People and Families Andrew Murrison, said:
This jointly commissioned independent review builds on the hard work already being undertaken by a lot of people who genuinely care about providing high quality services for our Armed Forces Community.
The recommendations in this review will help ensure we are taking that hard work in the right direction for our Armed Forces Community, who deserve the best services.
The Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees, will be modernised to better support veterans welfare. Work is already under way following the Royal Assent of the MOD sponsored Private Members Bill in support of this work and in conjunction with the welfare review, government will work to clarify the role of VAPCs in a way that can better serve the Armed Forces Community.
The Welfare Services Review considered the role, scope and breadth of UK Government welfare provision for veterans, including those administered by the Ministry of Defence.
Support which was looked at included services such as the Veterans Welfare Service, the Defence Transition Service, which supports military personnel as they move into civilian life, is also part of the review. Other services which were part of the review included the Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans, the Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office, the Veterans’ Gateway, the Veterans Advisory Pensions Committees and the Ilford Park Polish Home.
The government has accepted the principles behind most of the recommendations made by the Independent Review of UK Government Welfare Services for Veterans.
The OVA has also recently launched a consultation to build its understanding of veterans, assess the effectiveness of current policies, including welfare services available, and shape future strategies.