Health and Social Care

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The acquisition or purchasing of care services on behalf of a local population of people

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Eligibility Criteria

The requirements or standards that must be met before a person is provided with a care service

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Informal Care

Care that is provided by relatives and friends on an unpaid basis, outside of the professional care system

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Independent Sector

A collective term for the private and voluntary care sectors

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Internal Market

A 'market' in care services that was introduced in the early 1990s to promote competition between statutory and other care providers

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Mixed Economy of Care

A care system that combines public, private, voluntary and informal sector provision. Each of these types is funded in a different way - hence 'mixed economy'

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Private Care

Care serices that are provided to people who are willing and able to pay for them. Organisation and individual practitioners who sell care services in this way are collectively known as the 'private' sector

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Provider Organisation

A care organisation that delivers care services directly to service users

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Purchaser Organisation

An organisation that commissions or buys care servics on behalf of an individual or group of people

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Statutory Care

Care services that have to be provided by law. They are usually provided by public or government-controllled care organisations, such as NHS Trusts

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Voluntary Care

Care Services that are provided -free of charge or for a small, subsidised fee - by non-profit making organisations

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A collective term for laws that are passed by Parliament

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Paramountcy Principle

The principle of putting the welfare of the child first in all decisions affecting them

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This refers to monitoring and control

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An Act of Parliament

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Central Government

The national, as oppopsed to the local, level of government

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Devolved System

A system based on the devolution of power - where central government grants power to government at regional or local level

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Inter-Professional Working

Team working arrangements where care practitioners with different disciplinary backgrounds work collaboratively to meet and manage the care needs of a service user or client

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Local Government

The local, as opposed to the national, level of government

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Multi-Agency Working

A situation where care practitioners, employed by different care organisations, collaborate to provide care for a particular individual or group of people

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Primary Care

The 'first line' or 'first contact' care, usually provided by community-based health car workers such as GPs or District Nurses. Typically, primary care involves the diagnosis of health symptoms, the treatment of 'everyday' and less serious complaints, and referral of more comp[lex cases to secondary care providers.

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Primary Care Trusts

Public sector organisations that monitor and manage the work of primary care providers in a local area

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Professional Referral

A request by one care professional for care services to be provide by another care professional

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Secondary Care

Health care services that are provided by hospital-based specialists for people with more complex or emergency health care needs

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A direct request by an individual for health care services

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Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety which has overall responsibility for health and care policy in Northern Ireland

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GP Fundholding

A funding system where general practitioners are given a budget to spend on purchasing care for patirnts on their practice list

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Healthcare Commission

A body that monitors, inspects and regulates standards of care in the health care sector

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The practice of helping people who are less well off than oneself. It is associated with the charitable work of wealthy people, and played an important part in the emergence of voluntary organisations

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Mission Statement

A formal statement of a care organisations' aims or objectives. It sets out the organisations' sense of purpose or 'mission'

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A process of examining or checking activity or performance against a required standard

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Documents that set out the targets and standards of service that a care organisation seeks to achieve in its work with service users

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Clinical Governance

The process of improving the qualify of care services by controlling and improving work systems in a care organisation

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National Service Frameworks

Service standards for specific areas of care practice that are defined by government. Care organisations are expected to provide and achieve levels of service delivery that achieve these standards

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Quality Assurance

A general purpose of monitoring and evaluating whether specified standards of service quality have been achieved

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Quality Standards

Statements of performance or outcomes that define an acceptable level of service

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Total Quality Management

A management philosophy that seeks to integrate all of the functions of an organisation in a way that focuses on meeting customer needs and the organisation's objectives

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