Armed Forces Veterans Group (AFVG)

ESNEFT’s Armed Forces and Veterans Group (AFVG) ensures serving military personnel and veterans are not disadvantaged when referred for treatment and ensures they are heard at every level.

AFVG includes senior ESNEFT managers, Armed Forces Clinical Champions and colleagues with a service background who are committed to improving Armed Forces experience – e.g. giving Armed Forces personnel hospital tours, working with patient experience team to resolve Armed Forces issues and providing clear, accurate information.

Accountability for Armed Forces, ‘Veterans and their families’ (VATF) is included in the duties of nine staff who champion the adherence to the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant throughout ESNEFT.

AFVG gives ESNEFT a broad knowledge base and greater understanding of Armed Forces and veterans and their families and works to increase our NHS representation on the local Civilian Military Partnership Board. This was particularly evident when Colchester’s Garrison Commander thanked ESNEFT for its ‘timely, prioritised care and outstanding liaison throughout the Covid pandemic’.

For more information please email Rebecca Driver.

Veteran Aware Patient leaflet

Veteran Aware poster

Veteran Aware staff leaflet


More information about the group
  • We hold the silver Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and are aiming for gold standard by January 2023
  • We re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant in October 2021
  • We have gained accreditation as ‘Veteran Aware’ ensuring veterans and their families receive the best possible care
  • We ensure Armed Forces personnel are not disadvantaged when moving to or from the locality
  • Our Patient Access Policy refers to the care and treatment of Armed Forces and veterans and their families and requires that clinical and administrative staff are aware of the procedures for the management of referrals, appointments, diagnostics and elective admission to ensure Armed Forces and VATF patients have swift and efficient access to the services they need, receive priority treatment where it relates to a condition resulting from their service in the armed forces and ensures that ESNEFT meets the current guidance for priority service for military veterans.
  • We have signed the ‘Step into Health’ pledge
The Veterans' Trauma Network

The Veterans Trauma Network (VTN) is an NHS service that provides specialist care and treatment to veterans who have physical health problems as a result of their time in the armed forces. The VTN is available in England and Wales.

The VTN can support you by providing personalised treatment, within the NHS, through clinicians who understand the military environment and specialise in the type of physical health problems you have, helping families and carers of veterans with physical health problems access appropriate support services

The VTN is a collection of 12 NHS Veteran Trauma Centres and four specialist units, each with military and civilian medical experts who will be able to help you with your physical service-related health problems.

They will work with you to develop the best clinical plan for your needs. You will also be put in touch with a veteran support worker who will guide you through your health pathway and signpost to the specialised support available for veterans and their families.

Referrals can be made via your GP at

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