Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Welcome to the NHS

  • Comment

An introduction to the NHS
Brought to you by NHS Careers.

For the NHS a typical day includes:

  • Over 835,000 people visiting their GP practice or practice nurse
  • Almost 50,000 people visiting accident and emergency departments
  • 49,000 outpatient consultations
  • 94,000 people admitted to hospital as an emergency admission
  • 36,000 people in hospital for planned treatment
  • 28,000 sight tests being carried out
  • 18,000 calls to NHS Direct

The structure of the NHS

Hospitals in the NHS are managed by NHS trusts (sometimes called acute trusts) and are run by a trust board. These trusts make sure that hospitals provide high quality health care, and that they spend their money efficiently. Mental health trusts and ambulance trusts have a similar structure but tend to cover wider areas. There are almost 300 hospital, mental health and ambulance trusts, and 152 primary care trusts in England.

Primary care is provided in your local community via your local GP, NHS walk-in centre, dentist, pharmacist and optician. NHS Direct is also responsible for providing healthcare advice and information 24 hours a day via the internet and over the telephone.

All hospital and mental health trusts are dependent on primary care trusts (PCTs) commissioning services such as elective surgery, outpatient visits and other treatments from them, but PCTs also run community-based hospitals and provide services such as district nursing and health promotion.

PCTs still tend to commission many services from their local hospital. However, under the patient choice initiative, anyone needing elective hospital treatment will be offered a choice of where it is carried out, including independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) run by private companies.

Strategic health authorities (SHAs) cover large areas - typically neighbouring counties or large city areas - and are responsible for overseeing other NHS organisations in their area and leading on issues such as workforce development and capacity.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs