The NHS (National Health Service) of the United Kingdom is one of the most comprehensive and complete healthcare services in the world. Though funded centrally, it operates separately in England, Wales and Scotland. It is called the NHS officially in England while it is known as NHS Wales and NHS Scotland in the respective countries. In Northern Ireland it is called Health and Social Care service.
The NHS offers a number of services to its people. Here is a brief description on the various departments or services the NHS provides.
The emergency healthcare services offered in any country is supposed to be the most important service as it decides upon life and death most of the times.
The ambulance service is one such crucial healthcare service as it acts as the first point of medical aid in an emergency case. In England alone, there are about 12 NHS ambulance trusts.
Ambulance services / Emergency 999 calls / Air ambulance The accident and emergency departments occupy almost 18 million people a year.
Major Trauma is a very uncommon state, where a patient is effected with multiple serious injuries. In this case the patient is generally shifted to a trauma centre where there are number of trauma specialists like neurosurgery, orthopaedics, and radiology teams. This is also a place that is ready for immediate treatment and long time therapies and rehabilitations.
A good trauma care should consist of few salient features like Prevention, Initial contact, Pre Hospital assessment, Acute Trauma care, Acute or specialist rehabilitation, community or general rehabilitation. An estimated 450-600 lives could be saved every year if the trauma centres are well organized. The NHS is determined to set up around 20 trauma centres across England by the end of 2011.
Minor Injury Unit (MIU) helps you if your injury is not very serious. There are about 225 MIUs in England that are mostly led by nurses and you do not need an appointment. MIUs can treat the following conditions independently : broken bones, minor burns and scalds, sprains and strains, minor eye injuries, insect and animal bites, injuries to the back, shoulder and chest, minor head injuries and other wound infections. However MIUs cannot deal with other major conditions like breathing difficulties, major injuries, stomach pains, chest pains, pregnancy problems, allergic reactions, mental health problems, other conditions that are likely to require hospital admissions, alcohol related problems, overdoses, gynaecological problems and any other medical conditions for children under the age of three.
Walk-in centres (WiCs) managed by Primary Care Trusts - (PCTs) deals with minor illness or injuries. Presently there are about 93 centres in England. These conditions include infection and rashes, emergency contraception and advice, cuts and bruises, fractures and lacerations, stomach upsets, burns and strains. The NHS WiCs are mostly managed by a nurse and functions 365 days a year.
The Department of Health has recommended every Primary Care Trusts to open up a GP health centre so that common people might be able to visit practitioners in their convenient time. These centres will offer GP services like vaccinations, family health advice, examinations and prescriptions.
The new NHS 111 dial number has been introduced to help all kinds of non-emergency services. This is a toll free service and is governed by a team of fully qualified staff members. With its wide range of services the NHS 111 service acts as a single point of access to all kinds of minor health care services and works 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
NHS Dental Services
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums and a germ-free mouth is a very important aspect for human healthcare. Therefore dental healthcare should be made available to everybody at reasonable costs.
Be it an emergency case or just a general check-up, an individual can access the NHS dentist. Here one can use the local PCT [Primary Care Trust]to find the phone number of the dental access helpline. Apart from this the NHS dental service also provides mobile phone, broadband and call NHS direct services to find out the nearest NHS dental service in your area. NHS Services and its treatment brands
The state of being able to think well, feel good and behave well, is known to be a good mental health state. An estimation of one in four people in the UK are effected with mental problems and if this state is not treated on time, it could lead to fatal complications such as death or even suicides.
These mental disorders may come in different forms depression, personality disorders and Schizophrenia (mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness). Mental disorders can happen owing to a number of circumstances like being homeless, physical disability, poor living conditions and many unfortunate circumstances.
Treatment for Mental cure and related support
People with mental disorders need help to cope up with life or to cure them. A number of treatments like counselling, medication, psychotherapy and self help can be given to the effected. It is very important that a person with mental disorder is aware of the treatments available so that he could also have a choice to choose from . His cooperation is another important factor for such treatments.
Find out more on The NHS Mental Health Trust.
The NHS Eyecare Department
The NHS specializes on its eyecare department as well. Optometrists here work to determine eye defects and diseases that may need treatment or prescriptions to fit glasses and contact lenses. Optometrists here are well trained to detect abnormalities and disease in the eyes. Dispensing opticians fit your glasses and lenses but do not test your eyes.
After your eye test you will be given a prescription for your recommended glasses or a statement saying that you do not require a spectacle. An eye test is recommended for every two years in your life time. Taking care of your eye is very important because fluctuations in the eye power cannot be determined unless regularly tested. It is often referred to as a silent killer as your eye does not show you any symptoms of being weakened.
Pharmacists are often called as chemists and they play a very important role in providing quality healthcare. They are generally experts in medicines and their effects on the body. These people give you assistance and guidance on specific health issues, healthy living standards and minor ailments. Click FAQ to read on various other information available in the 'frequently asked questions' section.
NHS GP (General Practitioners) Services
General Practitioners or (GPs) provide a wide range health services like vaccinations, guidance on health issues, examinations, treatments and rehabilitations, medicine prescriptions and also necessary referrals to other health and social services.
Usually an appointment for your GP is booked by the surgeon if required. However you should be able to book appointments in advance on your request. To make it more convenient for the patients, more than 150 GP-led centres are being opened across England. This will enable most patients to make walk-in without prior appointments.
Social Care Services
Apart from all the basic essential services provided above, the NHS actively offers social care services. The health and welfare of the public in general is referred to as social service by the NHS. This department of the NHS puts much of its attentions on children or families with the following difficulties - people who are under stress, people with disabilities, emotional or psychological difficulties, housing and finance problems or older people who are in need of love and care. These kinds of social service is provided in all places like hospitals, schools, community groups, residents, advice centres and many other places. This service is usually taken care by the local councils in coordination with the NHS.
Thus we see why the NHS is so comprehensive and one of the best in the world. It also shows why UK's health services are arguably the best in the world.