The Armed Forces Act gained Royal Assent in Parliament on 15 December 2021, and enshrines the Armed Forces Covenant in law. This is a first and it aims to help prevent service personnel, veterans, and their families, being disadvantaged when accessing essential services like healthcare, education and housing.
The Armed Forces Act will also deliver a series of improvements to the Service Justice System, ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating.
Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said:
“Today is a significant day for the military community which for the first time has seen the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in law. The Armed Forces Act places a legal obligation on public bodies to consider the welfare of service personnel and veterans alike, giving them improved access to crucial services that we all rely on every day.
The Armed Forces Covenant has also been enshrined in law and its Annual Report has been released (15/12/2021) setting out major achievements of the Covenant over the past year and its new commitments.”
Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) Team Lead, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Guy Benson commented:
“This is a brilliant news and a welcome piece of legislation for all the obvious reasons. The VCHA strives to ensure veterans, Reservists and families – receive no disadvantage to accessing the services they need, deserve and to which they are entitled. I am particularly pleased that the Bill helps to improve the flexibility of service for Reserve personnel who remain twice the citizen.”
The Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 105 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, and the VCHA aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by November 2022 at the latest. Find out more about our work and about Rehabilitation by clicking here.