This guide explores provision in Wales for the health and wellbeing of prisoners who are veterans.
In February 2011 the National Assembly for Wales (NAfW) Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee published a report on ‘Post-traumatic stress disorder for services veterans’. It highlighted problems with the identification of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans, a lack of data, and inadequate and inappropriate evidence based treatment services for veterans with PTSD. Other recommendations within the report also have relevance to health provision for prisoners, notably those relating to primary care, substance misuse, and the Priority Treatment scheme for veterans. In addition, the ‘Welsh Government Package of Support for the Armed Forces Community in Wales’ lists a number of commitments relating to healthcare provision for service and ex-service personnel. With the above in mind the Task & Finish Group agreed upon an approach to improving the health and well-being of prisoners who are ex-service personnel that encompasses all of their health needs. This approach has been informed by a growing body of evidence, which indicates that many of the physical and mental health problems experienced by veterans in prison are the same as those affecting the wider population and requires comparable treatment responses. It also recognises that services will need to be more culturally sensitive in terms of delivery if they are to engage veterans effectively, as well as the specific needs of those with service-related PTSD.
Welsh Government, 2013. Veteran Informed Prisons: A guide to improving the health and well-being of prisoners in Wales who are veterans. Available at: <https://www.veteranswales.co.uk/assets/Veterans-in-Prisons.pdf>.