NHS Business Services
The National Health Service (NHS) which is the largest employer in Europe was set up in 1948 and provides health care to the citizens of UK. The services offered are free of cost and is based on a patients clinical need which are recovered through taxes. The NHS is currently divided on the basis of the geographical population and is currently divided into four administrative blocks namely: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The NHS works on a few core principals: • Offers comprehensive range of services • Services tailored to meet the needs of individual patients • Work to improve quality services
• Funds solely devoted for patient care • Respect confidentiality of patients and provide access about services, treatment and performance. Organization The NHS is administered by the Department of Health, government of UK. It controls the Strategic Health Authorities (SHA’s), by funding, directing and supporting the NHS. The SHA’s are responsible for the strategic supervision of: 1. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) –They assess the local needs and commission the primary care and public health. The 302 PCT’s control 80 per cent of the total NHS budget and employ around 29,000 General Practioners and 18,000 dentists. Their responsibilities include:
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3. Ambulance Trust- A fleet of ambulances are maintained to augment the conditions during emergency. The control room is constituted which decides what kind of response is required, which is followed by a response vehicle, crewed by a paramedic and equipped to provide treatment at the scene of the emergency. 4. Care Trust- They provide a range of services and provide more follow up care for people whose needs are complex. This is beneficial to elderly people who suffer various complications after an incident. 5.
Mental Health Trust – The services provided range from psychological therapy, specialized care to people for severe health problems. Less complex mental problems-depression, stress, and anxiety are treated by the GP’s. Treatment includes counseling, psychological therapies, community and family support. There are other special health authorities which include the Information Centre for health and social care, NHS Blood and Transplant, NHS Direct, NHS Professionals, NHS Business Services Authority, National Patient Safety Agency, National Treatment Agency and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Funding The principal fundholders in the NHS system are the PCTs, which commission healthcare from hospitals, GPs and others and pay them on an agreed tariff which is governed by the Department of Health. The PCTs receive a budget from the Department of Health on a formula basis relating to population and specific local needs and have to show a deficit on their budget at the end of the year. The Patient charges of NHS are free to all the residents of UK except for the charges applying to the prescription and optician services.
This includes UK citizens who work for a UK based charity outside the UK (except in certain countries) for more than 5 years, regardless of their intention to return to the UK. With the advent of complex diseases which includes cancer and AIDS, the costs of prescriptions are burdening the PCT’s and there is a considerable debate whether to opt for generic mdicines. Information Information plays a vital role in giving patients choice over the choice of treatments available and the procedures in place for the correct access. Computerization of the entire data base and access to the individual patients accounts through internet.
There is a range of information which patients can access and local information on the performance of trusts is through www. nhs. uk ? Advanced information and advice on local services offered to patients – through Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) and a more comprehensive range of leaflets and literature provided by trusts and practices. ? Patient information and education to support better self care , ranging from group education sessions for specific illnesses organized by practices and PCT’s. Residents of UK have an access to the Thomson Local Directory.