In the Press

A pioneering website has been launched to help war veterans become more independent.

The Veterans' Information Portal is now live and Essex is the first county to roll out the scheme which is supported by Essex Civilian & Military Partnership Board.  It provides information on employment, education, health ands welfare, finance and housing.  Visit website for full details


Diane Palmer, Area Team Manager of Veterans First has written a blog about the affect Bonfire Night can have on Veterans with PTSD:

At Veterans First, a Specialist NHS Veterans Team operating across Essex, we know only too well how the fireworks on Bonfire Night can trigger flashbacks and other Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms that can leave our war heroes curled up in a ball crying or drinking to excess to block out intrusive thoughts and read full blog click link


HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards 2016 - Winners!

The Veterans First service of North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) won the Specialist Services category for their “Innovative and collaborative approach to supporting Armed Forces Personnel in transition and Veterans.” in the 2016 HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards.

The award ceremony was held in Manchester on Tuesday 24 May.  Click here for all the winners

Veterans First are pleased to announce that they were'Highly Commended' in the following categories at this year's Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards:

Making a Difference - David Powell, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Innovation in Mental Health and Primary Care - Veterans First team

The Award's ceremony took place in Newcastle on 14th October

Deputy PM at North Essex Partnership’s Veteran’s Service

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, visited the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) Veteran’s First service in Colchester, today Wednesday, and met with staff and ex service personnel. Click here to read full story

Veterans First service featured in a special BBC East Inside Out programme on 27th October 2014.

As British troops pack their bags to head home from Afghanistan, the programme looked at the impact across the East of England of the 13-year conflict. "The programme visits Camp Bastion for the final weeks of operations. We reveal the pioneering work in Essex to help personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder and more common mental health problems faced by troops adjusting to life away from the conflict zone. And we see how the garrison town of Colchester copes with the return of troops and joins together the military and civilian communities."

The programme is still available to watch on the BBC iPlayer - search Inside Out - Afghanistan: The Homecoming

Veterans First finalists at the Nursing Times Awards 2014

Veterans First CMHT were at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 29th October for the prestigious Nursing Times 2014 Awards.  The team were finalists for Team of the Year and although unsuccessful it was great to be a part of the Awards and have our work recognised nationally.

MPs Wowed by Health Service for Veterans 

Award winning Veterans First service in Colchester which is run by North Essex Partnership is attracting nationwide recognition for the care it provides to Veterans.

Shadow Defence Secretary, Vernon Coaker and his team visited the Veterans First Service at the Lakes in Colchester on 3 July.

Vernon Coaker MP, Shadow Defence Secretary said: “It’s brilliant to come and see the work of Veterans First led by Diane Palmer. What we need to do is to see if we can use this as an example across the country, so that armed forces personnel and veterans who have served their country get the help and support they need.”


Veterans First CMHT, part of North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust won the Mental Health Award at this year's Nursing Standard Awards in London on 9th May 2014.

Click here for full details

Diane Palmer, Area Team Manager at Veterans First won the Care Innovator Award category at the East of England Care Awards 2013.  The winners were announced in Peterborough on 25th October. Click here for details

Veterans First CMHT, part of North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, was a finalist in the Nursing in Mental Health category at the 2013 Nursing Times Awards held in London 0n 30th October 2013.  Click here for details

NEVMHN has won a national award at the 2013 Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards.  The Awards, now in their fifth year are hosted in turn by the Ministry of Defence, Welsh Government, Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

The Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards aims to promote and publicly recognise the efforts of health professionals form the public, private and voluntary sector(s) across the UK in providing care to service personnel, veterans and their families. This is a high profile event within the military and health fields and attracts significant interest and attendance from the military and Governments of the UK.

The Awards Ceremony took place at Cardiff City Hall on 21st May 2013.  Awards were made in eight categories and NEVMHN won the Care of Veterans Award category.

'Veterans First' wins mental health award

MAY 2014 A MOD partnership mental health team has been recognised for their efforts in supporting our armed forces and their families.

For full story click here


Veterans with mental health problems will be able to benefit from a new partnership between the military, NHS and a charity.

Colchester Garrison’s Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH), North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Combat Stress have come together to form the North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network, the first of its kind in the country.

Pictured L-R Dr Water Busuttil, Combat Stress; Susannah Howard, Enable East; Mike Srinivasan, DCMH Colchester and Paul Keedwell, North Essex Partnership

The partnership, which works under the slogan 'A United Approach', held a conference in Colchester in 2011, to explore the services already available for veterans locally and improve links between organisations working in the field.

The network is the idea of Lt Col (Retd) Mike Srinivasan, consultant psychiatrist at DCMH Colchester, and grew out of work by DCMH staff to help a veteran who was leaving the Army but needed continuing mental health care.

Funding of £130,000 was secured for the partnership from the Department of Health.

Other Press

BBC News

Colchester Evening Gazette

Defence Internet