Health Service Information

It can be complicated to understand who's who, and familiarise yourself with common acronyms used within the National Health Service (NHS) and the associated organisations and providers that work closely together to serve our nations health needs. 

This advice and guidance page on Lily has been designed to provide you with a brief overview of parts of the health service and offer links to more detailed information, websites and advice associated with the health service.

Medicines A-Z

Medicines A-Z can be browsed as either medicine by name or active ingredient.

NHS & Commissioning of services

National Health Service (NHS) England

The national body responsible for overseeing the commissioning of health services by CCGs; also commissions certain services directly, including primary care.

Public Health England

Executive agency providing expertise and information to public health teams in local authorities and the NHS.

Health and wellbeing boards

Bring together relevant statutory agencies, Healthwatch and others to agree strategic priorities and ensure commissioned services meet local needs.

Clinical commissioning groups

Groups of local GPs responsible for commissioning most local health and social care services.

Commissioning support units

Providers of commissioning support services to NHS commissioners.


Responsible for engaging with users of health and social care services and ensuring their views are heard.

Strategic clinical networks

Networks of commissioners, patients and providers which ensure a strategic approach to improving quality of care in priority areas.

Clinical senates

Comprised of a steering group and broader forum of experts to provide strategic advice to commissioners in their local area.

NHS Website

NHS Website - is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.

The website helps you make choices about your health, from decisions about your lifestyle, such as smoking, drinking and exercise, to finding and using NHS services in England.

Along with articles and reports, the site offers hundreds of videos, interactive tools and listings that allow you to compare services, such as hospitals, GPs, care homes or dentists. You can also rate and comment on any service. The site lets you create your own private user account and you can have content personalised for you on the NHS homepage.

Social Care Services & Information

Care and support services, also known as social care services, help people who are in need of practical support due to illness, disability, old age or a low income. 

Care and support services could include having a personal assistant to help you around the home, structural changes to help you move around or manage in your house, or even an alarm system so that you can call for help if you have a fall.

Social care services are available to everyone, regardless of their background. However, social care is subject to rules about your needs and ability. Services can also support the families or carers of people who receive social care. Find out more about your rights and entitlements to social care.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) are the areas responsible body for government Adult Social Care Information and Advice, click here to view their Adult Care homepage.

Health & Social Care Information Centre has now changed their name to NHS Digital They are the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care, click here to view the hscic website.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission, commonly referred to as the CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. The CQC monitors, inspects and regulates services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.

The CQC publishes what they find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

General Practitioners (GPs)

General practitioners (GPs) work in primary care and are part of a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which have responsibility for purchasing healthcare from secondary healthcare providers, such as acute/hospital and community/mental health trusts and the independent and voluntary sector. 

General practice is an essential part of medical care throughout the world. GPs are also the first point of contact for most patients. The majority of the work is carried out during consultations in the surgery and during home visits.

GPs provide a complete spectrum of care within the local community: dealing with problems that often combine physical, psychological and social components. They increasingly work in teams with other professions, helping patients to take responsibility for their own health.

They attend patients in surgery and primary care emergency centres if clinically necessary, visit their homes and will be aware of and take account of physical, psychological and social factors in looking after their patients.

GPs call on an extensive knowledge of medical conditions to be able to assess a problem and decide on the appropriate course of action. They know how and when to intervene, through treatment, prevention and education, to promote the health of their patients and families.

Norfolk Community Health and Care - Primary Trust

Norfolk Community Heath and Care (NCHC) NHS Trust is an integral part of the local NHS. NCHC Provide community-based care around Norfolk.


Page last reviewed: 22 November 2022

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