Two-thirds back NHS priority for armed forces

More than two-thirds of people support priority NHS treatment for forces veterans, new research shows.

The study found while the public believes that ex-service personnel should be given preferential treatment, only one third thought that was currently the case.

The UK-wide research was carried about by the centre for military health research, King’s College London, and was based on 3,300 responses.

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Rachael Gribble, one of the academics who carried out the study, said: “Priority health and welfare services for ex-service personnel were supported by at least 70 per cent of respondents.

“Current health and welfare provision for ex-service personnel with mental or physical injuries was considered to be insufficient by the majority of the public when contrasted with civilian services.”

The findings of the 2011 British Social Attitudes survey will be presented before the annual conference of the British Sociological Association today.

Ms Gribble added: “Our findings suggest that the British public regard health and welfare provision for veterans to be less than they should be.

“These attitudes may be an inadvertent result of fundraising campaigns from military charities or recent media reports and documentaries referring to the lack of resources for serving personnel, particularly the wounded.”