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Health Services

Health care can be divided into a number of different branches. Conventionally these include:

  • hospital care. Hospitals can be distinguished between acute and long-stay care. Acute care covers the full range of medical specialties: long stay care has principally been used for psychiatric care and continuing nursing care. The current trend is for long stay to be minimised and for acute hospitals to offer a full range of care.
  • primary care. Primary care refers to basic medical treatment and non-hospital care, including general or family practitioners, professions ancillary to medicine (including dentistry, optics and pharmacy) and domiciliary health care (home nursing, occupational therapy, etc.). In some countries, the preferred distinction falls between hospital and "ambulatory" care. Ambulatory care includes primary care and most day care in hospital.
  • public health. This field includes not only preventive medicine (e.g. screening, inoculation or health education) but also several areas not necessarily linked with conventional health services, including housing, water supplies, sewerage and food hygiene.

Here we aim to cover aspects of health policy and National Health Service reform that impact on the experience of service users and the well being of the population as a whole.

Adapted from Paul Spicker's Introduction to Social Policy.

This collection is made up of full text reports on health service policy and reform, available to view free of charge

Our picks

Complaints and raising concerns: report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

Most of those who complain about NHS services do not seek financial redress, but do so because they wish to have their concerns and experiences understood and for any failings to be acknowledged and put right so that others do not suffer the same avoidable harm.

Annual report of the Chief Medical Officer 2015: on the state of the public's health: baby boomers: fit for the future

This report by the Chief Medical Officer looks at the health of the ‘baby boomer’ generation (broadly, those born between 1945 and 1964).

Reference costs 2015-16

This is the most up-to-date information about how NHS expenditure was used to provide healthcare by NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts.

Health state life expectancies, UK: 2013 to 2015

This bulletin reports variations in health state life expectancy for the UK during 2013 to 2015, and is the first such release to include all UK local areas.

Health expectancies at birth and at age 65 in the UK, based on 2011 Census health and disability prevalence data: 2010 to 2012

This analysis examines general health state life expectancy (‘Very good or good’ health, ‘Fair’ health and ‘Bad or very bad’ health) at birth and at age 65 by sex for the UK, its four constituent countries and their sub-national areas.

Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond: impact assessment

The current mechanism for funding community pharmacy is complex, and there is a constant need to ensure that NHS resources are being directed in an optimal manner, as well as community pharmacy needing to make its contribution to the efficiency savings the NHS needs to deliver.

Delivering high quality, effective, compassionate care: developing the right people with the right skills and the right values: a mandate from the Government to Health Education England: April 2016 to March 2017

The Health Education England mandate for 2016 to 2017 reflects strategic objectives around:Workforce planning.

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