Since its launch in 1948, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service. It is also one of the most efficient, most egalitarian and most comprehensive.
The NHS is funded by the taxpayer and managed 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.
More information about the NHS can be found on the NHS website
Department of Health
The Department of Health (DH) provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England. The Department of Health’s purpose is to improve England’s health and well-being and in doing so achieve better health, better care, and better value for all.
DH has the responsibility for:
- Standards of health care, including the NHS
- Setting the strategic framework for adult social care and influencing local authority spend on social care
- Setting the direction on promoting and protecting the public’s health, taking the lead on issues such as environmental hazards to health, infectious diseases, health promotion and education, the safety of medicines, and ethical issues.
In the Department of Health's website you can learn all about DH and what it is seeking to achieve.
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 doctor 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 Direct and 111 telephone services are also part of primary care.
From April 2013, Primary Care services are managed for you by your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 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. The nearest CCGs are:
More information can also be found on the DH website
To find NHS services available in your area visit the NHS website
NHS Walk-in Centres
NHS Walk-in Centres give you quick and easy access to health advice and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries.
There are Walk-in centres throughout England in convenient locations such as high streets and train stations. They are run by experienced NHS nurses and you don't need to make an appointment. Most are open seven days a week, from early in the morning until late in the evening, and offer a variety of services, such as:
- Assessment by an experienced NHS nurse
- Treatment for minor illnesses (including coughs, colds and infections) and for minor injuries (such as cuts, sprains and strains)
- Advice on how to stay healthy
- Information on other health services such as out-of-hours care and dental services.
For more information visit the Walk-in Centre website
NHS 111 Service
From March 2013, the Wiltshire area will be served by the NHS 111 service, which replaces NHS Direct.
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
For more information visit the NHS 111 website
This internet service makes a wealth of health information and advice available through the Internet, including a detailed Self Help Guide.
Visit the NHS Choices website
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.
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
NHS Foundation Trusts
Foundation Trusts are a type of acute trust run by local managers, staff and members of the public. 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.
The hospital in Salisbury is a Foundation Trust.
More information about Foundation Trusts can be found on the Monitor website (Monitor is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts).
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 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.
Information about special health authorities