Health General Information
Current NHS Structure
As many people’s first point of contact with the NHS, around 90 per cent of patient interaction is with primary care services. In addition to GP practices, primary care covers dental practices, community pharmacies and high street optometrists. NHS Direct and walk-in centres also fall under primary care. In the majority of cases, primary care services are based in the community.
Services provided by medical specialists who generally do not have the first contact with a patient, for instance a neurologist or a rehabilitation consultant. Secondary care services are usually based in a hospital or clinic as opposed to being in the community and patients are usually referred to secondary care by a primary care provider such as a GP.
Tertiary care/Specialised services
Highly specialised treatment such as neurosurgery, transplants and secure forensic mental health services.
An Alternative Guide to the NHS in England
The NHS was founded in 1948 and since that time the health system has undergone profound change, with the Health and Social Care Act 2013 introducing the most wide-ranging reforms in it’s history.
The Kings Fund have produced a animation, which gives a whistle-stop tour of the NHS, how the new organisations work and fit together – and explains that the new system is as much a product of politics and circumstance as design.
To see the animation click here