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Introduction to the NHS

This topic aims to introduce new HR practitioners in the NHS to the structure and organisations that make up the service in the UK, avoiding “NHS jargon” wherever possible. Website links are included for greater detail on all of the content discussed.

Introduction to the NHS: Quick Facts
  • The NHS in the UK was devolved to the home countries in 1999 by the Labour government and currently there are four different models of healthcare planning and delivery.

  • There are country specific health departments that are responsible for providing health and social care services to the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • The NHS in England is in the process of radical restructuring and, at the same time, is improving the efficiency and quality of delivery of its services. The key document guiding this change is Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS published by the coalition government in July 2010.

  • The NHS organisations in Scotland and Wales are moving towards community-based services and away from hospital care as part of their respective strategies for health.

  • A number of NHS organisations exist to provide essential services, guidance, treatment and advice to both the public and healthcare professions.