House of Commons Library

The structure of the NHS in England

Published Friday, July 7, 2017

This Commons Library briefing provides an overview of the funding and accountability relationships within this NHS in England, and an introduction to the roles of key organisations including NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission. This briefing also highlights some key health policy issues, including patient safety, funding, and the integration of health and social care.

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This Commons Library briefing on the structure of the NHS in England provides an overview of the funding and accountability relationships in the English NHS. It offers an introduction to the roles of key organisations, including:

  • NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which commission NHS services;
  • NHS Improvement, which since April 2016 has brought together Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority;
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates the safety of services; and
  • Health Education England (HEE), which leads workforce planning, education and training.

It also covers:

  • Public Health England (PHE) and local authorities’ public health duties;
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards and the co-ordination of health and social care services; and
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and access to treatment

This briefing highlights some of the key health policy issues, including patient safety, funding, and the redesign of services. It also provides a summary of the NHS Five Year Forward View and Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). 

Health policy is a largely devolved matter and this briefing is primarily concerned with the structure of the NHS in England, however, a brief summary on the health systems in the other parts of the UK (with links to further information) is also included.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7206

Author: Tom Powell

Topics: Health finance, Health services

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The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.