The NHS Structure 2013
The NHS structure explained
These changes will have an effect on who makes decisions about NHS services, how these services are commissioned, and the way money is spent.
Some organisations such as primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) will be abolished, and other new organisations such as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will take their place.
NHS services will be opened up to competition from providers that meet NHS standards on price, quality and safety, with a new regulator (Monitor) and an expectation that the vast majority of hospitals and other NHS trusts will become foundation trusts by 2014.
In addition, local authorities will take on a bigger role, assuming responsibility for budgets for public health. Health and wellbeing boards will have duties to encourage integrated working between commissioners of services across health, social care, public health and children’s services, involving democratically elected representatives of local people. Local authorities are expected to work more closely with other health and care providers, community groups and agencies, using their knowledge of local communities to tackle challenges such as smoking,alcohol and drug misuse and obesity.
However, none of these changes will affect how you access NHS services in England. The way you book your GP appointment, get a prescription, or are referred to a specialist will not change. Healthcare will remain free at the point of use, funded from taxation, and based on need and not the ability to pay.