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Smart Health Care - NHS Glossary of terms
Category: Health and Medicine > NHS terms
Date & country: 14/01/2011, UK
Words: 53

Acute trust
in England, the organisations that run secondary and emergency care, through large hospitals and specialist centres.

Agenda for Change
the NHS's standard national pay system, covering all but the most senior staff. More information from NHS Employers.

Ambulance trust
there are 11 such trusts in England, mostly with the same names and coverage areas as strategic health authorities. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own ambulance services.

the Association of Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care, a professional association for those working in informatics in healthcare and social care

British Telecommunications plc, also known as British Telecom. Once the state owned telephony monopoly provider, it remains the UK's largest telecoms firm. It is a major supplier to the NHS, acting as the local service provider to London and running the N3 network.

Care trusts
in a few areas of England, these organisations provide both health and social care.

NHS Connecting for Health, a directorate of the Department of Health formed on 1 April 2005 and primarily responsible for delivering England's NHS National Programme for IT.

Choose and Book
England's electronic booking system for acute healthcare, currently used for about half of all such bookings. Can be used by GPs or other primary care staff, or by patients, online or by telephone. Provided by Atos Origin.

NHS Care Records Service. England's electronic health record system. So far available in only a few areas of England

Computer Sciences Corporation, a US corporation which is the IT local service provider to the North, Midlands and East region.

DH (or DoH)
Department of Health. The Whitehall department responsible for the NHS in England. There are equivalent health departments within the Welsh and Scottish governments. Social care is provided by local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland has an integrated Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

Director general
a senior Department of Health civil servant controlling a specific area of activity. There are currently director generals of social care, local government and care partnerships; workforce; research and development; health improvement and protection; and communications. The senior team also includes a principal accounting officer, chief nursing officer, chief information officer, NHS chief executi...

Emergency Care Summary. Scotland's concise electronic health record system, holding data for emergency care.

Electronic Prescription Service. England's system allowing prescribers, primarily GPs, to send prescriptions electronically to pharmacists, rather than either printing a paper form or scrawling something in illegible handwriting.

foundation trust. In England, a trust which has extra powers over its own operations. The government expects all non-foundation trusts to apply for foundation status over the next few years.

general practitioner. There are around 29,000 in England alone. They provide primary care for their patients and outside emergencies act as the gateway to acute and other care.

GP commissioning consortia
the groups of GPs that will take over commissioning from primary care trusts in England under health secretary Andrew Lansley's plans. The first 52 'pathfinder' consortia were announced on 8 December 2010.

Health board
in Scotland, the local organisation responsible for all healthcare in its area. Usually known by its locality's name, such as NHS Highland.

in England, an online personal health organiser provided by Connecting for Health. For the few areas where the Care Records Service has been implemented, HealthSpace can provide online access to a patient's Summary Care Record.

information and communications technology – IT plus telecoms.

its broad meaning is the science of processing data. Within health and social care, it is used to refer to the processing of data on patients and clients, normally – but by no means exclusively – through IT systems.

Informatics Directorate
from April 2009, the Department of Health's Informatics Directorate will oversee NHS IT in England. See this article.

Informing Healthcare
now part of NWIS, see separate entry.

internet protocol. Often used to refer to a data network which uses IP, as in Voice over IP.

information technology.

Lean thinking
a process developed in vehicle manufacturing and now employed by some NHS organisations to systemise and simplify routine tasks.

London Programme for IT. BT holds the contract to serve NHS London as the capital's local service provider.

in England, local service provider. The prime contractor for an area of England for NPfIT. See LPfIT, SPfIT and NMEPfIT.

Mental health trusts
in England, these provide mental health services.

New National Network, a private broadband network linking NHS sites in England and also in Scotland – a rare example of cross-border work on health. BT, which runs N3, claims it is the largest virtual private network in Europe.

should stand for National Health Services, plural. The UK has four national health services, three of which use the NHS name

NHS 24
the Scottish health telephone helpline, equivalent to NHS Direct in England and Wales.

NHS Choices
the central English NHS website, run by Capita.

NHS Direct
the name for the health telephone helpline in England and Wales, although each nation runs its own service. England's NHS Direct also runs an online interactive self-help guide and enquiry service.

NHS Scotland
Scotland's central national health organisation.
the domain space used by NHS organisations in England, Scotland and Wales, both for websites and for email addresses. Not open for use by private organisations.

England's single email system for NHS staff. Addresses stay the same when someone moves from one NHS organisation to another. However, it is not compulsory and many people still use email addresses provided by their own NHS organisation.

North, Midlands and East Programme for IT, covering 30m people in England. CSC acts as the local service provider. Formed when Accenture left NPfIT, and CSC added the north-west to its coverage area. It covers all of England north of a rather crooked line running from the Severn to the Thames, along the southern (and in some cases western) borders of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, No...

National Programme for IT. England's NHS IT development programme, co-ordinated by NHS Connecting for Health and primarily delivered by local service providers. Includes the NHS Care Records Service.

NHS Wales Informatics Service, which absorbed Informing Healthcare in April 2010.

picture archiving and communication system, involving the digitisation, storage and transfer of X-rays and scans.

patient administration system, a core IT system.

personal computer.

primary care trust (England only). These will be replaced by GP commissioning consortia under government plans. They currently control primary care in their areas through GPs, smaller community hospitals and dentists. As they also commission acute and other care for patients in their area, they control 80% of the NHS budget in England. With a very few exceptions, PCTs have the same name and are co...

Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention, the application of which will lead the NHS in England to billions of pounds in savings, according to the government.

England's Summary Care Record, an element of the Care Records Service which will be made available to NHS staff through the Spine.

strategic health authority (England only). These are set to be abolised under government plans. There are 10, coterminous with the nine government regions for England. The exception is the south east region, which has two SHAs - see SPfIT.

Snomed CT
the Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms. A common computerised language for healthcare, developed by the NHS and the College of American Pathologists, and managed by the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO). It replaces Read Codes.

the Southern Programme for IT's local service provider was Fujitsu, until it left NPfIT in 2008. The region does not currently have an LSP. It covers three strategic health authorities

in England, part of the Care Records Service, the Spine will be a central database of everyone's Summary Care Record, available to NHS staff anywhere in the country.

in England, the Secondary Uses Service, run by Connecting for Health drawing anonymised data from the Care Records Service for research purposes.

Voice over IP (internet protocol). Using a data network to carry digitised telephone calls, something for which N3 can be used.

the term generally used within the NHS to refer to HR/human resources issues.