The NHS Veterans Complex Treatment Service (CTS) was launched in the West Midlands in 2018. The main purpose is to provide a specialist service for veterans with complex mental health needs as a result of their military service and is designed to work alongside mainstream mental health services.
The CTS is based at the Barberry Centre, Queens Elizabeth hospital, which is the National Centre for Mental Health and consists of three clinical psychologists, a psychological therapist, three community psychiatric nurses, stabilisation workers and an administrator.
Clients are referred to the CTS via the Transition Intervention and Liaison service (TILs) and an initial appointment is offered within ten days of referral. Each client has their needs assessed and converted into a plan, which may evolve over time. Safeguards are put in place and Clients also have relevant numbers for out of hours services as well as a CTS developed ‘veteran card’ listing all the numbers should they feel distressed or in a crisis.
Following initial assessment the therapist focuses on the psychological work (e.g trauma work) and the stabilisation worker deals with finance, housing, benefits, alcohol or substance misuse, enhancing the psychological intervention and enabling reintegration with society.
The main role of the stabilisation worker is to assist and prepare the client for therapy and are clinically supervised. In addition to working with the veteran’s stabilisation worker, support is also offered to partners and their children where appropriate.
We have regular engagement with different service and civilian charities including: Royal British Legion; SSAFA; ABF Soldier’s Charity; Walking with the Wounded.
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) is accredited as a Veteran Aware Trust by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA). The CTS recently won a bronze aware in the BSMHFT Team of the Year category.