The thought of sunnier climes or living in exotic locations can be very tempting. But for those of you who have a family member who requires extra support due to a medical condition, additional need and/or disability, it’s important to be aware that there may be differences in health and social care provision and, in some locations, there may not be any provision at all. AFF Health & Additional Needs Specialist Karen Ross looks at the guidance available to you when considering an overseas move…


Responsibility
There’s a responsibility on both your soldier and MOD to ensure your family member’s needs are assessed properly before an assignment should be accepted. Often families are not aware of the process to follow or the information available.

Registering
Even before you consider an overseas assignment, your soldier must register all family members with a medical condition, additional need and/or disability – including things like medication or dietary requirements – with their career manager. This allows them to consider the most suitable assignment. Your soldier should also include information about your family’s requirements on their Assignment Preference Proforma (APP).

Top tip: Ask your soldier to read JSP 820 and AGAI 108, which can be found on the Army’s intranet and explain the registration process. There’s also more at aff.org.uk

Medical pre-screening and supportability
If an overseas assignment has been proposed, do your research to see if the care provided is equivalent to that in the UK. Your soldier can find this information through the overseas command, DIN Library, the Army’s web pages and Blue Book. Not being supported could have a real impact on your family because you may be returned to the UK or have your soldier’s assignment cancelled at short notice. If this happens you will be supported by your welfare team and the chain of command. You should also be able to retain your Service Families Accommodation if the assignment is cancelled.

Top tip: Read JSP 770 Part 1 Chapter 2A. The Army Personnel Centre will advise your soldier to complete the form at Annex A. There’s a flowchart explaining the process.

The move
As soon as you receive an assignment order, your soldier will need to apply for the Movement Support Services (MSS) family pack. This must be completed regardless of how you intend to travel to the new location. The pack also contains a certificate of medical fitness and a medical screening form to fill in for all family members.

Top tip: Your soldier can find form F/MOV/564e and further details at https://grms.agilitylogistics.com

Allow time
The medical screening process can take time, particularly if the overseas doctors need to confirm your medical requirements with your current health professionals, so start the process as early as you can.

When all the assessments have been completed, clearance certificates issued and signed by the chain of command they are forwarded to APC. Your travel won’t be booked until MSS has received a signed Annex A, an educational clearance certificate (if required) and confirmation of medical clearance from APC.

Top tip: Your soldier is responsible for sending a copy of Annex A and clearance certificates to MSS, once the posting is confirmed.


If you are due a posting and need any advice on supportability, contact Karen at additionalneeds@aff.org.uk

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