Glossary of Terms & Acronyms
There are many abbreviations and acronyms (an abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word) used in health and social care. We have listed the most commonly used ones below, just click on the headings to see all the terms starting with these letters. We hope you find this useful!
Accident and Emergency (A&E)
Accident and Emergency departments assess and treat people with serious injuries and those in need of emergency treatment. They are sometimes referred to as ‘casualty' departments.
Describes a disorder or symptom that comes on suddenly and needs urgent treatment. It is not necessarily severe and is often of short duration. Acute is also used to describe hospitals where treatment for such conditions is available.
Hospital-based health services.
Organisation formed to provide health services in a Secondary Care Setting, usually a hospital.
A person who supports someone and can act on their behalf.
Responsible for providing ambulance services within a defined geographic area.
Any Qualified Provider (AQP)
AQP is being introduced to give patients more choice and control. It will build on and extend the existing choice of provider for elective care introduced in 2007. The approach to AQP will put safety and quality first, sustaining current standards and supporting continuous quality improvement. More...
Black,Asian and Minority Ethnic
Anyone who might benefit from the activity of a charity.
Is a formal requirement for local authorities. It aims to ensure that public services are responsive, efficient, of high quality and tailored to local need.
Black Minority Ethnic. An umbrella term, covering all the characteristics of a 'racial group', including religious and cultural bonds. Refers to anyone who would tick any box other than 'White British' box in the ethnicity question on the census form.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH)
Regional teaching hospital; provides general and specialist acute hospital services working as one teaching hospital across two sites, Royal Sussex County Hospital (Brighton) and Princess Royal Hospital (Haywards Heath). www.bsuh.nhs.uk
Brighton and Hove City Council
Provides Social Care Services (commonly known as Social Services, local authority) to protect, care for and support vulnerable people to enable them to live as full and independent lives as possible. www.brighton-hove.gov.u k
Someone who helps individuals choose and access the support they need to be independent.
Guidelines issued by the Department of Health relating to the confidentiality of patient information, more...
Help that an organisation uses to make it perform better, generally implies training and support to strengthen the organisation.
Everyone with mental health needs who is being supported under the care programme approach has a named professional who is their care co-ordinator. They arrange review meetings where everyone concerned meets to review the care plan and make any necessary changes.
Care Programme Approach (CPA)
Assessment of the health and social care needs of a service user with particular regard as to whether the service user has a severe and enduring (i.e. chronic) mental illness.
Someone who provides support to someone with experience of a mental/physical illness. Forms of support include: emotional, financial and practical. Carers can be upaid or paid.
An assessment carried out by the care co-ordinator or other member of the mental health team, assessing whether the carer is able to continue to provide care and support, and assess the social, physical and mental health needs of the carer. A carer can decline to have an assessment.
Care Programme Approach (CPA)
Systematic assessment of the health and social care needs of a service user with particular regard as to whether the service user has a severe and enduring (i.e. chronic) mental illness.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC regulates and improves the quality of health and social care and looks after the interests of people detained under the Mental Health Act. www.cqc.org.uk
Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
Groups of GPs and other healthcare professionals that will be responsible for buying health and care services for patients, taking over the role from primary care trusts. More here
A health service professional dealing with clinical rather than administrative issues. Clinical of, or for, the treatment of patients Clinical governance the organisational framework through which and NHS body is accountable for ensuring and improving patient safety & high standards of care.
Choose and Book (CAB)
Choose and Book is the national electronic referral service which enables patients to choose the place, date and time of their first outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic. www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Talking treatment designed to alter unwanted patterns of thought and behaviour; it addresses personal beliefs which may result in negative emotional responses, concentrating on understanding behaviour rather than the actual cause of a problem.
Commissioning is the buying of health and care services. It is a continuous cycle of activities that includes agreeing and specifying services to be delivered over the long term through partnership working, as well as contract negotiation, target setting, providing incentives and monitoring. It is all about making sure that health and care services effectively meet the needs of a given population with the resources available.
Authorised staff in charge of commissioning contracts with service providers of health and social services.
Locally-based health or social care services provided to patients in and around their home.
Community Care Assessment
An assessment conducted by a local authority to determine a person's care needs. More...
Community Interest Company (CIC)
A way social enterprises can register to become limited companies while meeting particular concerns such as protecting assets for community use.
An agreement between statutory organisations and voluntary and community organisations. www.compactvoice.org.uk
Funding the basic cost irrespective of what projects or services it is delivering. Also called “strategic funding”.
Having the same geographical boundaries.
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Check
The CRB check searches an individual's details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer. The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. More...
DH or DoH: Department of Health:
The department that supports the government to improve the health and well being of the population.
Someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. BH LINk is a Dignity Champion, more on the dignity champion network here.
A direct payment is money that is paid directly to you so people can arrange their own support.
Recognising the value of organisations or people all being different.
Electronic Booking (eBooking)
A service to allow a common means of booking appointments for NHS services through multiple electronic communication channels. Part of Choose and Book.
Eligibility criteria provide the framework used to determine who is eligible for social care services from their local authority.
NHS Foundation Trusts are a type of NHS hospital trust tailored to the needs of local populations and run by local managers, staff and members of the public. Sussex Partnership is a Foundation Trust.
A group of health experts led by GP Professor Steve Field, will provide independent advice on four themes: information, education and training, integrated care and public health. More...
GMC - General Medical Council:
The regulator of the medical profession. Its purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the community by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.
GP - General Practitioner:
A doctor providing primary care services, usually providing the first point of contact for NHS patients.
Health and Social Care Bill
The Health and Social Care Bill creates the legislative (law-making) framework for the NHS as set out, and consulted on, in the White Paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS. It devolves power in the NHS, clarifying roles and responsibilities so that everyone can enjoy better quality health care and better health. More...
Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB)
HWBs will bring together elected representatives, Local HealthWatch (who will represent people who use services) and health and social care commissioners, such as GPs and directors of public health, to plan the right services for their area. More...
Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC)
Carries out an independent check on any local health services provided and commissioned through the NHS as well as those provided by local authorities. More on Brighton's HOSC here.
HealthWatch England will be a statutory, distinctive part of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It will: provide leadership, advice and support to Local HealthWatch provide advice to the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and the Secretary of State have powers to propose a CQC investigation of poor services. More...
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
ICAS helps you raise a concern about NHS care or treatment, it is free independent and confidential. http://www.seap.org.uk/icas/
ICP - Integrated Care Pathway:
A process within health and social care that collects variations between planned and actual care.
ICU - Intensive Care Unit:
Intensive care units, also known as critical care units, are located in hospitals and provide treatment and monitoring for people who are in a critically ill or unstable condition.
Usually used to mean voluntary organisations which exists to support other voluntary/ community organisations – i.e. Councils for Voluntary Service.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT):
Programme has one principal aim, to support Primary Care Trusts in implementing NICE guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.
Usually refers to NHS and social services working together to agree spending plans to get the best service for those who use their services, such as mental health service users, physically disabled people, older people.
Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
Known in Brighton and Hove as the City Needs Assessment. Is a process that will identify the current and future health and wellbeing needs of a local population. This assessment is used to decide the priorities and targets. http://www.bhlis.org
Alternative to general hospital admission for treatment. Also provided to allow patients to be safely discharged from hospital & complete their recovery at home or other suitable place, such as a community hospital or nursing home
ISTC: Independent Sector Treatment Centre
Private-sector owned treatment centres contracted within the NHS to treat NHS patients free at the point of use.
Local Involvement Network (LINk)
Independent statutory body with legal powers under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. Aims to give citizens a stronger voice in how their health and social care services are delivered. It is run by local individuals and groups and independently supported. More...
Local HealthWatch (LHW)
Is to become the local consumer voice for people who use and need health and social care services, to be empowered to improve and influence the commissioning decisions made about those services. It is to build on the good work of LINks and strengthen the ways in which commissioners and providers take the views and experiences of patients and the public into account when improving the quality and safety of health and social care services. More...
Local Strategic Partnership (LSP):
An alliance of local statutory organisations, residents, voluntary/ community organisations and business interests formed to give a strategic direction to improvement for the local community.
Where funds will only be granted if the organisation can come up with some proportion of the total costs.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT):
A treatment approach for those with depression.
Organisation which authorises and regulates NHS foundation trusts. It is independent of central government and directly accountable to Parliament. http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk
NAO - National Audit Office:
The body that scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament. It is totally independent of Government and audits the accounts of all government departments and agencies as well as a wide range of other public bodies.
NHS - National Health Service:
The National Health Service was set up in 1948 to provide healthcare for all citizens, based on need, not the ability to pay. It is made up of a wide range of health professionals, support workers and organisations. www.nhs.uk
NHS Commissioning Board
This Board will sit at arm’s length from the government and will oversee local CCG. It will make sure that the CCG have the capacity and capability to commission successfully and meet their financial responsibilities. It will also commission some services directly. More...
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE):
An independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health. www.nice.org.uk
NHS Direct or NHS Direct Online:
A nurse-led telephone advice and information service, also available on the internet. www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
National Service Framework Local Implementation Team (NSFLIT):
The team responsible for overseeing the implementation of the NSF (a guideline on raising the quality and reducing inequalities in mental health services).
NHS Trust or Trust:
A generic term for a organisation providing health and social care services within the NHS.
OAT - Out of Area Treatment:
From 1 April 1999 patients have been treated under service agreements. Emergencies and other situations which preclude the use of specific pre-arranged service agreements are covered by arrangements termed Out of Area Treatments (OATs).
Older People Mental Health Services (OPMHS):
Range of services for older people aimed at enabling people to maintain their health and lifestyle, and to receive care and treatment within their own home setting, or in places which are easily accessible and acceptable to them and their carers.
PALS - Patient Advice and Liaison Service:
A service provided to help patients, carers and relatives raise concerns or make comments on any aspect of local health services.
PCT - Primary Care Trust:
Local NHS organisations responsible for the planning and securing of health services and improving the health of the local population. tPCTS are the main commissioning bodues in the NHS. NHS Brighton and Hove is the PCT for this area.
Used to describe a number of ways in which vulnerable adults and their carers receive a mixture of local authority and government money in order to pay directly for the care service they need without direct social service involvement. They will be helped in making an assessment of their needs and finances by social workers who will also involve and consider the needs and availability of informal carers. Any contractual agreement is therefore between the individual and the care worker or operator.
Is money that is available to someone who needs support. The money comes from their local authority services. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk
Personal Health Budget
Is an allocation of resources made to a person with an established health need (or their immediate representative). It is currently being piloted by the Department of Health. More...
PFI Private Finance Initiative
A way of creating public–private partnerships (PPPs) by funding public infrastructure projects with private capital. More...
The name for a model for community-based healthcare as set out in Healthcare for London: A framework for action. The word does not necessarily refer to a building and can fit a range of different organisational models. Polyclinics are GP led and as well as providing GP services, provide a range of services and offer extended opening hours. They play an active role in health related decision making, have statutory powers and are made up of local volunteers.
PPI patient and Public Involvement in Health
The involvement of patients, carers and the public in health decision-making.
Primary Care Services:
Provided at the first stage of treatment when you are ill - by family doctors, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists and ophthalmic medical practitioners, together with district nurses and health visitors.
Provide services direct to patients, including hospitals, mental health services and ambulance services. NHS providers (eg physiotherapists) will be given more freedom to help them deliver the best possible care for patients, and it will be easier for new providers to offer services. Performance will be measured by whether patients’ health and wellbeing improves rather than by targets. Providers can be community voluntary sector, commercial companies as well as NHS.
Public Health England
This is the new public health service will be part of the Department of Health and will incorporate the current functions of the Health Protection Agency and the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (subject to the Health and Social Care Bill being passed in Parliament). It is intended that Public Health England will lead health protection and set the overall outcomes framework for public health.
Putting money into a voluntary / community organisation at an early stage which will allow it to start accessing its own funds from elsewhere, thus adding value.
RCN - Royal College of Nursing:
The RCN represents nurses and nursing, promotes excellence in practice and shapes health policies.
Reablement Is a short term service, usually up to six weeks, for people who need support to live in their homes independently.
Ring-fenced budgets and un-ring fenced budgets
Ring fenced budgets mean that money is given to services with a specific purpose to spend the money on. For example, local authorities will be given a ring fenced budget to improve public health in their local area in line with local priorities. This may include using it jointly with other local authority budgets such as those for children’s service, schools, housing, transport and environmental health.
Un-ring fenced money means that services not have to spend the money on a specific area, for example local authorities will be given un-ring fenced money for LHW so it is up to them how much they spend on LHW although they will have to ensure there is a LHW in their area.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmbS):
Responds to 999 calls from the public, urgent calls from health professionals and in Kent and Sussex, and provides non-emergency patient transport services. More...
Is a process of ensuring that vulnerable people are protected from being abused, neglected or exploited. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk
The second stage of treatment when you are ill and usually provided by a hospital.
Self-directed support (SDS)
Is about people being in control of the support they need to live the life they choose. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk
Service User (SU)
Person receiving the services of a health authority or voluntary or independent organisation.
SHA - Strategic Health Authority:
Responsible for developing strategies for local health services and ensuring high-quality performance. They manage the NHS locally and are a key link between the Department of Health and the NHS. They will be abolished in April 2012.
Often money that is not able to be spent by a deadline, sometimes targets that are not achieved by a deadline.
Describes what a sensible project targets should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time – limited.
Provides help and support to people allowing them to lead independent lives or improving their quality of life.
A high priority concern of the European Union and the British Government: relates to the fact that people can be prevented from accessing normal community life because of disability, prejudice, unemployment.
Social Return on Investment (SROI):
A powerful way of measuring and demonstrating the social value that has been created by an organisation or project.
Anyone that has an interest or involvement in an organisation. The stakeholders could be its staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, service users, relatives of service users, funders.
Organisations which the law declares must exist – local authorities, police authorities and others.
Sussex Community NHS Trust (formerly known as South Downs)
Provides community health services in Brighton and West Sussex. www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT):
Provides specialist mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services in and across Sussex.
Is a written bid outlining a supplier’s desire, capacity and plan of how to deliver a piece of work, service or supplies.
Teen to Adult Personal Advisors (TAPAs):
Offers consultation, advice and support to other workers, link the young person in to other relevant services, and provide short-term treatment.
Is a written bid outlining a supplier’s desire, capacity and plan of how to deliver a piece of work, service or supplies. Trust: A generic term for an organisation providing health and Social Care services within the NHS.
The third and highly specialised stage of treatment, usually provided in a specialist hospital centre.
Includes community associations, self-help groups, voluntary organisations, charities, faith-based organisations, social enterprises, community businesses, housing associations, cooperatives and mutual organisations. Indpendent groups which are established voluntarily which have charitable objectives. Also known as the community voluntary sector.
Walk in Centres:
Centres designed to offer fast advice and treatment, without an appointment, for more minor conditions or injuries. Information on Walk-In Centre Brighton here.
WHO - World Health Organisation:
The United Nations specialised agency for health. Working Age Mental Health Services (WAMHS) are responsible for the provision of all health and social care mental health services to adults between the age of 16 (18 if in full time education) and 65 years.
World Class Commissioning:
A statement of intent, aimed at delivering outstanding performance in the way the NHS commissions health and care services.