Here are explanations for terminology you will find used throughout the website and our documents.
Our glossary page explains terms used to describe hospitals, departments and treatments.
Acute services – General hospital services that treat people for specific conditions for a short time.
Acute services review – This is the process that our local healthcare services are carrying out in order to redesign how you receive healthcare in the future. They will focus on key areas of service delivery.
Cancer Services – This service provides the skills to diagnose and treat people who have cancer. The cancer service is divided up into departments, which cover the different types of common cancers along with one for rare cancers.
Children's Services – These services care for and treat children under the age of 16. Older children are cared for under adult guidelines. If a patient has a long term condition, their transition from child to adult services will be dependent upon the type of condition they have
Clinical commissioning group – Clinical commissioning group (CCG) is the name for the new health commissioning organisation which will take the place of a primary care trust in April 2013. Commissioning organisations are responsible for planning and buying healthcare from health service providers (like hospitals, GPs and community health service organisations) to meet the needs of their local population. The CCGs are being established under the new Health and Social Care Bill 2011.
Clinical Senate – This is a multidisciplinary group of senior clinicians from the five hospitals involved in Healthier Together who will, along with patient representatives from the Patient and Public Advisory Group, consider and coordinate any service change proposals from a regional perspective.
Clinician – A health professional, such as a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or nurse, involved in patient care, as opposed to one specialising in research.
Commissioning – Commissioning in the NHS is the process of making sure that healthcare services are provided effectively to meet local populations’ needs. It is a complex process which involves assessing population needs, prioritising health outcomes, buying health services and products, and performance managing service providers like hospitals.
Consultant – In the United Kingdom, consultant is the title of a senior doctor who has completed all of his or her specialist training and been placed on the specialist register in their chosen specialty.
Emergency services – These services provide out-of-hospital medical care for urgent situations. They involve transporting patients to locations – e.g. hospitals – for further care. They include paramedic teams, ambulance crews and A&E departments within hospitals. Their purpose is to treat a patient’s symptoms on the spot or manage their symptoms until they can receive more effective treatment in a hospital A&E unit.
Engagement – (see stakeholder engagement)
GP – General Practitioner sometimes referred to as a local or family doctor. In the UK, general practice has been a fundamental element of health-care provision since the inception of the NHS in 1948. GPs in the UK carried out 261 million consultations in 2001, or 741,000 each day. On average, patients consult their GPs five times a year.
Healthier Together – Is the programme of work being run by NHS organisations in the South East Midlands area to review and put in place plans to improve health services in the area. This website provides more information on why Healthier Together has been established, its partner organisations, remit and aspirations.
Long term conditions – A long term condition is one that cannot be cured, but can be managed through medication and/or therapy. There is no definitive list of long term conditions – diabetes, asthma and coronary heart disease can all be included. There are around 15 million people in England with at least one long term condition.
Multidisciplinary – Within the NHSmultidisciplinary describes an approach to care that involves more than one discipline. Typically this will mean that doctors, nurses and therapists are involved.
NHS Foundation Trusts – Hospitals that operate as independent legal entities – established as public benefit corporations. Although they are free from central government control these trusts remain within the NHS and its performance inspection system. NHS foundation trusts are accountable to local people, who can become members and governors.
NHS Trust – Provides services on behalf of the NHS in England. NHS Trusts are not Trusts in the legal sense but are effectively public sector corporations. Each Trust is headed by a board consisting of executive and non-executive directors, and is chaired by a non-executive director.
Outpatient – A patient who attends a hospital or clinic for treatment that does not require an overnight stay.
PALS – The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS, has been introduced to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible.
Planned care – Planned care is the care provided to people which is planned in advance, for example, surgery which a patient has been booked in for, and any rehabilitation which may follow.
Primary care – Primary care is a term used to describe community-based health services, which are usually the first (and often the only) point of contact that patients make with the NHS. It covers services provided by family doctors (GPs), community and practice nurses, community therapists (such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists) community pharmacists, chiropodists, optometrists and dentists.
Primary Care Trust (PCT) – Currently PCTs are the NHS organisations responsible for commissioning primary, community and secondary (hospital) care from provider organisations like hospitals. PCTs are scheduled for abolition on 31 March 2013. PCTs have their own budgets and set their own priorities, within frameworks set by strategic health authorities and the Department of Health. They also provide funding for general practitioners (GPs) and medical prescriptions. PCTs are now calling themselves NHS and then the name of their geographical area, to make it easier for local people to understand how the NHS is managed locally.
PCT cluster – In preparation for being abolished in 2013, PCTs have joined together in clusters, with single executive teams each managing a cluster of PCTs. These new clusters are not statutory bodies, but will help enable the creation of the new system including clinical commissioning groups.
Secondary care – Secondary care is known as acute healthcare and can be either elective care or emergency care. Elective care means planned specialist medical care or surgery, usually following referral from a primary or community health professional such as a GP.
Senior responsible officer (SRO) – the SRO is the NHS executive director ultimately responsible for overseeing delivery of the Healthier Together programme.
Service Delivery: Accessibility – This is about being able to deliver better quality care within maximum or reasonable travel distances.
Service Delivery: Achievability – This is about ensuring that all services meet regional and national guidelines for quality, best practice and safety.
Service Delivery: Affordability – Making sure that services that are considered to be important can be afforded and maintained to a high standard.
Service delivery: Quality & Safety – This is about improving patient care and treatment outcomes, e.g. delivering excellent care by receiving the best treatment in the most appropriate manner to meet your healthcare needs.
Service deliverability: Sustainability – Ensuring hospital services and teams are capable of looking after the changing and increasing needs of the local population in the future.
South East Midlands – The South East Midlands is the term being used to describe the area covered by the Healthier Together NHS services improvement programme. The area includes Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.
Specialist Centre of Excellence – A team of clinicians based together providing specific expertise in a particular field. The facility in which the team is located is equipped specifically to support the services being provided.
Stakeholder – Any person, group or third-party body that is likely to have an interest in an organisation's actions. In the context of the Healthier Together initiative, this includes NHS staff in South East Midlands, patients, suppliers, local authorities and the wider public.
Stakeholder engagement – This is the process through which an organisation involves stakeholders in decision-making. Stakeholders may support or oppose the decisions, be influential in the organisation or within the community, or be affected in the long term. An underlying principle of stakeholder engagement is that stakeholders have the chance to influence the decision-making process and outcomes.
Tertiary care – When patients are referred on from primary or secondary care where specialist treatment is required. This will often only be provided by large teaching hospitals or foundation trusts
No hospitals will close. Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton & Dunstable and Bedford will all continue to provide most local services
All five hospitals will have an A&E and maternity service
Our first priority is safe, sustainable, high quality services
Our recommendations will be based on clinical evidence and local need
No decisions without full public consultation
Healthier Together Programme Office
NHS Milton Keynes
Bletchley MK3 6RT
T. 01908 278735