The NHS was set up in 1948 and is now the largest organisation in Europe. It is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation.
The NHS is funded by the taxpayer and overseen by the Department of Health, which sets overall policy on health issues. It is the responsibility of the Department of Health to provide health services to the general public through the NHS.
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust forms part of the secondary healthcare structure.
The Department of Health
In the Department of Health's website you can learn all about the Department and what it is seeking to achieve.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) - assessing local health needs and commissioning the services to meet them
Primary care is the care provided by people you normally see when you first have a health problem. It might be a visit to a GP or a dentist, an optician for an eye test or a trip to a pharmacist to buy cough mixture.
NHS walk-in centres and the NHS 111 telephone service are also part of primary care. Your CCG will work with local authorities and other agencies that provide health and social care locally to make sure that your local community's needs are being met.
CCG’s are local organisations, so they understand what their community needs are, so they can make sure that the organisations providing health and social care services are working effectively. For example, your CCG must make sure there are enough services for people within their area and that these services are accessible. It must also make sure that all other health services are provided, including hospitals, dentists, opticians, mental health services, NHS walk-in centres, patient transport (including accident and emergency), screening and pharmacies.
111- 24 hour confidential health advice over the phone
You can call 111 for confidential health advice and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers.
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
For less urgent health needs, please contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.
NHS Choices makes a wealth of health information and advice available through the Internet, including a detailed Self Help Guide.
Secondary care - NHS Trusts - Emergency and planned hospital treatment
Hospitals are managed by acute trusts. Acute trusts make sure that hospitals provide high-quality healthcare and that they spend their money efficiently. They also decide how a hospital will develop, so that services improve.
Acute trusts employ a large part of the NHS workforce, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and midwives. They also employ people doing jobs related to medicine, such as physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, speech and language therapists, counsellors, occupational therapists, psychologists and healthcare scientists.
There are many other non-medical staff employed by acute trusts, including receptionists, porters, cleaners, specialists in information technology, managers, engineers, caterers and domestic and security staff.
Some acute trusts are regional or national centres for more specialised care. Others are attached to universities and help to train health professionals.
Acute trusts can also provide services in the community, for example through health centres, clinics or in people's homes.
Find your nearest acute trust now
NHS Foundation Trusts
Foundation trusts were introduced in 2004. They are tailored to the needs of the local population. Foundation trusts have been given much more financial and operational freedom than other NHS trusts and represent the government’s de-centralisation of public services. These trusts remain within the NHS and its performance inspection system.
Salisbury District Hospital is run by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
More information about Foundation Trusts can be found on the Monitor website (Monitor is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts).
NHS Walk-in Centres - fast, no appointment advice and treatments for minor conditions
NHS Walk-in Centres offer convenient access to a range of treatment for minor illnesses and injuries including infections, rashes, lacerations, emergency contraception and advice, stomach upsets, cuts, bruises, burns and strains. You will be seen by an experienced nurse and don’t need an appointment.
Salisbury Walk-in Centre
It is important that you choose the right location for the level of treatment you require. Help and guidance.
Special Health Authorities
Special health authorities are health authorities that provide a health service to the whole of England, not just to a local community. The National Blood & Transplant Authority is an example of a special health authority.
They have been set up to provide a national service to the NHS or the public under section 9 of the NHS Act 1977. They are independent, but can be subject to ministerial direction in the same way as other NHS bodies.
Find your nearest special health authority now
There have been a number of changes to the structure of the NHS and how NHS care is regulated and monitored:
The new NHS in 2013 What it means for you