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About the Department

The aim of the Department of Health is to improve the health and well-being of people in England.

We have more than 5000 staff who are responsible for driving forward change and modernisation in the NHS and social care, as well as improving standards of public health. Our staff also develop policies, set national standards and ensure these are being met.

Our work is far reaching - ranging from providing specialist guidance to general practitioners, dentists and social workers, to helping promote healthier lifestyles and living.

To ensure that the needs of patients and service users are at the forefront of health and social care, we are focusing on six main priorities.

Many of these priorities focus on improving the things that most matter to patients - such as cancer, heart disease, mental health, primary care and older people's care - as well as reducing appointment waiting times. Other priorities focus on making sure we have the right staff and right capacity to deliver first-class treatment and care.

The NHS is not part of the Department of Health. The links on the right will take you to national information about the NHS and NHS Direct health advice and information. Below changes to the way health services are delivered in England are explained.

The New NHS

Find out more about how the NHS is changing and modernising to provide a patient-centred service

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