Veterans Trauma Network Wales (VTN Wales) has been established to ensure that ex-Service Personnel, who suffered physical injury as a result of their service, can access the timeliest and most appropriate care for their injuries following discharge from the Armed Forces. Most veterans’ injuries can be dealt with using routine NHS referral pathways. However, the severity or unusual nature of some combat injuries means that veterans sometimes need specialist input that may not be available in their health board.
VTN Wales provides a central service to assist individuals, healthcare professionals & the third sector with relevant advice on appropriate referral pathways if ongoing support is required and can assist with securing appropriate funding where cross-border referral is necessary. The network consists of a collaboration of specialist clinicians with relevant expertise who have an interest in providing veterans’ care.
Referrals to the network can be made by GPs, other clinicians, and third sector organisations when there is an unmet need for specialist assessment or treatment for physical conditions relating to service in the Armed Forces.
VTN Wales launched on 3 October 2019 and was originally hosted by Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. In January 2021 hosting of VTN Wales was transferred to the South Wales Trauma Network’s (SWTN) Operational Delivery Network (ODN), hosted by Swansea Bay University Health Board.
The SWTN covers South Wales, West Wales and South Powys and can provide direct referrals for VTN Wales services within the Welsh tertiary centres. For patients in North and Mid-Wales, VTN Wales is closely linked with equivalent colleagues in VTN England working across Liverpool, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent and can arrange any necessary referrals appropriately.