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 but there need to be improvements to cope with the demands of the 21st century. The NHS is changing the way it works to make sure patients always come first. This has brought about some fundamental changes in the way the NHS is structured and the way in which the different organisations within the NHS relate to each other.
Below is a diagram of how the NHS in England works with all of the necessary departments in a standard NHS hospital.
The diagram was taken from http://www.nhs.uk/England/AboutTheNhs/Default.cmsx
What does the NHS provide?
The NHS provides a number of services including care trusts which are a means of bringing both health and social care under one organisational structure. Mental health trusts which are designed for people with severe mental problems. NHS trusts foundations which are a new type of hospitals run by local managers, staff and members of the general public. NHS Ambulance Trusts are the local organisations responsible for responding to 999 calls; transporting patients; and increasingly for providing out-of-hours care. Emergency and urgent care is someone who needs emergency or urgent care. Although people can’t plan when they have accidents, they need to be sure that, whoever they contact in the NHS is ready and equipped to deal with the accident.
NHS direct is a confidental health and advise line that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The advice they can give you ranges from what to do if a member of the family is ill to local health services such as doctors, dentists and out of hours pharmacies. NHS walk-in centres are a service that you can just walk in without having to have made an appointment that give quick and easy advise to health advise and treatment for minor illnesses or injuries. GP practices are used for diagnosing and treating a wide range of health problems in the local community. General practitioners (GPs) look after the health of people in a local community from giving vaccinations to performing simple operations.