What are the changes in the NHS?
The Health and Social Care Bill finally became law in March 2012 and many of the new structures created by The Act took up their full responsibilities from April 2013.
Overall, the NHS has changed from focusing on a nationally operated health structure, to being much more focussed on local health needs. Health services will now be provided in each local area depending on particular needs and health issues that are most common in that area.
The priorities for the new NHS are to provide more choice for patients and carers; ensuring public health, social care and health all work together to focus on patients' experiences and recovery first.
Below is a glossary of terms for the new bodies which have been created in the NHS along with the new words being used by health professionals and politicians.
They will replace all primary care trusts and commission health care services for people living in their area. CCGs will be made up of GP practices, other health professionals and at least two lay members. There will be around 220 CCGs by April 2013.
There will be one in every local authority area and they will bring together a representative from the CCG, elected member of the local authority, representative of Healthwatch and directors from services within the local authority. The main duty for Health and Wellbeing boards will be to create the JSNA and bring health and social care services so they work better.
It will replace the old LINKS network and be the organisation where patients and public can go to share their views and concerns about their experience of local health and social care services. Local Healthwatch will be the local community's voice and they will let Healthwatch England know what's happening in local services. A representative from every local Healthwatch will also be on the Health and Wellbeing Board in the same area.
NHS England (formerly the NHS Commissioning Board) is the national body which will oversee all the different elements of the NHS. It will allocate funding to CCGs, develop national guidelines and commission specialised services (such as secure hospitals). It will take over many of the national functions from the Department of Health.
Still referred to as NICE, it will continue the function of licensing medication in the UK and will now also be encouraging new ways of working in health and social care. It will continue to produce quality standards for how the NHS, Social Care Services and Public Health must work.
Its main function will be to regulate all NHS service providers to ensure they are providing efficient, effective and economic services, in the interests of patients.
All healthcare providers must be licensed by the CQC and Monitor. CQC will make sure that all service providers are meeting certain quality standards, and it will intervene and investigate if a provider is failing to provide a good service.
The JSNA is a local assessment which gives the CCGs information about which health care services are needed and what should be commissioned in the local area so that local needs are met. JSNAs will be created by every local Health and Wellbeing Board.
The AQP model allows patients to choose which service provider they go to for their healthcare need, for example, patients can choose who they go to when accessing talking therapies. Monitor will have a duty to ensure competition between all providers is fair.
These are used in social care and is an allocation of money from the person's local authority to help them pay for the support they need to live more independently. You can find more information on personal budgets in Mind's guide. Personal health budgets are being introduced in the NHS from April 2014.
It will be the new national body in charge of public health protection in England. Every local authority will have a Director of Public Health responsible for making sure there is good overall public health in their local area.