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davidtrump

Healthcare in England & National Health Service (NHS)

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Healthcare in England is mainly provided by England's public health service, the National Health Service, that provides healthcare to all permanent residents of the United Kingdom that is free at the point of use and paid for from general taxation. Since health is a devolved matter, there are differences with the provisions for healthcare elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Though the public system dominates healthcare provision in England, private health care and a wide variety of alternative and complementary treatments are available for those willing to pay.

National Health Service (NHS)
The National Health Service (NHS) is free at the point of use for the patient though there are charges associated with eye tests, dental care, prescriptions, and many aspects of personal care.

The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England, including primary care, in-patient care, long-term healthcare, ophthalmology and dentistry. The National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect on 5 July 1948. Private health care has continued parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private insurance, but it is used by less than 8% of the population  generally as a top-up to NHS services. Recently there have been some examples where unused private sector capacity has been used to increase NHS capacity and in some cases the NHS has commissioned the private sector to establish and run new facilities on a sub contracted basis. Some new capital programs have been financed through the private finance initiative. The involvement of the private sector remains relatively small yet, according to one survey by the BMA, a large proportion of the public oppose such involvement.

Funding and management
The NHS is divided conceptually into two parts covering primary and secondary care with trusts given the task of health care delivery. There are two main kinds of trusts in the NHS reflecting purchaser/provider roles: commissioning trusts are responsible for examining local needs and negotiating with providers to provide health care services to the local population, and provider trusts which are NHS bodies delivering health care service. Commissioning trusts negotiate service delivery with providers that may be NHS bodies or private entities. They will be involved in agreeing major capital and other health care spending projects in their region.

By far the most known and most important purchases are services including general practice physician services (most of whom are private businesses working under exclusive contract to the NHS), community nursing, local clinics and mental health service. For most people, the majority of health care is delivered in a primary health care setting. Provider trusts are care deliverers, the main examples being the hospital trusts and the ambulance trusts which spend the money allocated to them by the commissioning trusts. Because hospitals tend to provide more complex and specialised care, they receive the lion's share of NHS funding.

The hospital trusts own assets (such as hospitals and the equipment in them) purchased for the nation and held in trust for them. Commissioning has also been extended to the very lowest level enabling GPs who identify a need in their community to commission services to meet that need. Primary care is delivered by a wide range of independent contractors such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists and is the first point of contact for most people. Secondary care (sometimes termed acute health care) can be either elective care or emergency care and providers may be in the public or private sector, but the majority of secondary care happens in NHS owned facilities.

The NHS is the world's largest health service and the world's fourth-largest employer; only the Chinese People's Liberation Army, Indian Railways, and Wal-Mart employ more people directly.

NHS Constitution

The NHS has recently adopted a formal constitution which for the first time, in one document, lays down the objectives of the NHS, the rights and responsibilities of the various parties (patients, staff, trust boards) and the guiding principles which govern the service.

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