The Role of NHS Trusts & Primary Care
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role of nhs trusts & primary care trusts
In July 2000, the Government’s NHS Plan
promised investment, reform and a shift in power towards principal
healthcare professionals and patients. Old health authorities
were disbanded and replaced by 28 Strategic Health Authorities.
Primary Care Trusts
A fundamental part of this reform was the setting
up of Primary Care Trusts. Primary Care Trusts are local organisations
responsible for managing health services in the community.
They are comprised of:
- Community nurses
- Local community hospitals (not acute hospitals –
see NHS Trusts below)
- Mental health services
- NHS Direct
- NHS Walk-in Centres
- Patient transport (including ambulances)
- Screening and health promotion programmes
They are also responsible for the integration
of health and social care, ensuring that local health organisations
work together with local authorities.
It is intended that Primary Care Trusts receive
75% of the NHS budget to provide effective health and social
care. They are responsible for ensuring that the services
available can meet the demand from people in the local community
and that they are accessible to them.
NHS Trusts manage the acute hospitals which
are responsible for providing medical and surgical treatment
and care whether it is planned or an emergency. They are also
responsible for the development and improvement of services.
The Trusts employ NHS staff including medical personnel, such
as doctors and nurses, and non-medical personnel, such as
porters and receptionists.
Both Primary Care Trusts and Acute Hospital
NHS Trusts are accountable to the Strategic Health Authorities.
They are both responsible for developing working relationships
by means of service level agreements.
In Northern Ireland, Health and Personal Social
Services are provided as one integrated service. The four
health and social services boards are agents of the Department
of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in planning,
commissioning, monitoring and purchasing services for the
residents in their areas. The nineteen Health and Social Services
(HSS) Trusts are the providers of health and social services.
They manage staff and services and control their own budgets.
In Wales, there are 22 local health boards which
cover exactly the same areas as the 22 local authorities in
Wales. This facilitates closer working relationships between
the NHS and local councils. Within the 22 local areas there
are Primary Care providers, principally GPs, community nurses,
physiotherapists and other health care professionals, which
broadly fulfil the role of the English Primary Care Trusts.
There are also fourteen NHS Trusts in Wales, covering broadly
the same responsibilities as their equivalents in England.
In Scotland, the NHS is divided into NHS Boards.
The role of these Health Boards is the protection and improvement
of the health of their respective residents through implementation
of The Health Improvement Programme. This is intended to improve
co-operation not only between Trusts but also with the Local
Authorities. Primary Care Trusts and Acute Hospital Trusts,
responsible for acute hospital services, operate within the
geographical boundaries of individual Health Boards.
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to
the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call
0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail