By listening to the experiences of veterans and engaging with the public, private and voluntary organisations that represent them, I can make recommendations and observations that aim to help improve the support available to our veterans. Previous reports published by my office can be found here.
Where health and wellbeing is concerned, too many still struggle to adapt and find it difficult to access and navigate health care in a less familiar civilian world that they may not have been a part of for some time. We know that can contribute to other problems, either soon after leaving or in later years and it can affect a whole family.
We have seen an improvement across many aspects of transition in recent years – including housing, which presents some unique challenges – but we are still not getting it right for everyone. We need to act now to build on improvements, especially for those vulnerable to a failed transition, who risk entering a cycle of homelessness and the knock-on effects of that. For most that’s entirely preventable.
This report focuses specifically on the areas of employment, skills and learning. It makes suggestions and broad outcomes-based recommendations to the Scottish Government and others, for improvements aimed at getting transition right to benefit the individual and their family as they transition and become veterans, living and working in Scotland.
Getting the right support or advice to the right person at the right time is a real challenge. Transition can be particularly harshly felt when so many aspects of an individual’s life change at the same time.
Our assessment of where things currently stand and what the future might hold can be found throughout this report, alongside findings and recommendations aimed at the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and their partners.
Are the needs of our veterans population properly understood and considered by those who work in health and social care? Do veterans face any disadvantages when accessing health and social care provision? Does the health system properly fulfil our obligations to those veterans with the most severe and enduring illnesses and injuries acquired as a result of their military service? Are the health outcomes of our veterans population as good as they can be?
Third report from the Scottish Veterans Commissioner advising Scottish Ministers on improving employment and learning opportunities for veterans in Scotland.
Report on the Provision of Information on Housing for Service Leavers and Veterans in Scotland.
In Scotland approximately 1800 men and women complete their military service and settle – many with their families - in our communities every year. As Scottish Veterans Commissioner, I have been asked by the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for veterans, Keith Brown, to investigate how this diverse group prepare for, and cope with, transition using the recent studies by Lord Ashcroft, Forces in Mind Trust and others as a baseline.