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DH glossary M - O

  • Last modified date:
    15 April 2009

Health and social care terms beginning with letters M to O.

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Medical devices

Products which are intended to be used for a medical purpose. The term covers a wide range of medical supplies, equipment and instruments ranging from thermometers to artificial hearts.

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Executive Agency of the Department of Health responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe.

Mental Health Act Commission (MHAC)

See CQC (Care Quality Commission).

Mental health trusts

Trusts that provide specialist mental health services in hospitals and local communities.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Bacteria that can cause infection in a range of tissues such as wounds, ulcers, abcesses or bloodstream.


See Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG)

Introduced as part of the new General Medical Services (GMS) contract to provide income protection to general practices moving from the previous contract to the new contract.

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)

The combined vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.

Model career

The system that gives NHS employees the freedom to fulfil their potential, and exercise choice over their career development.

Model employer

A management style that results in NHS staff feeling more valued.


Reforms to the organisational structure of the NHS so that it can respond better to the priorities of local patients and frontline staff.

Modernising pay

Modernisation of pay is an integral part of recruiting and retaining a larger NHS workforce.


The independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts that is responsible for authorising, monitoring and regulating them.


See Minimum Practice Income Guarantee.


See methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.


National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Independent organisation that provides national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

National IT programme (NPfIT)

Programme that focuses on the changes to IT in the NHS that will improve the patient experience.

National job profiles

Scheme that allows most NHS jobs to be matched to nationally evaluated profiles on the basis of information from job descriptions, person specifications, and additional information.

National minimum standards (NMS)

Standards set by DH for a range of services, including care homes, domiciliary care agencies and adult placement schemes.

National service frameworks (NSFs)

Long term strategies for improving specific areas of care.

National tariff

The system used by DH to commission health and social care services.

Needs assessment

Process by which NHS organisations or local authorities use information to judge the health and wellbeing of their population and then decide what services should be provided to meet local needs.

New ways of working

Initiatives designed to improve working patterns in the NHS, such as Agenda for Change.

NHS allocations

How the Department allocates money to primary care trusts and community health services.

NHS Blood and Transplant

Special Health Authority that promotes the donation of blood and organs, co-ordinates a 24 hour organ matching and allocation service, and arranges and keeps track of the collection, preparation and distribution of blood.

NHS costs and exemptions

Entitlement to help with health costs, such as NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs.

NHS Direct

A service providing 24 hour access to health information and clinical advice, via telephone, the NHS Direct website or the NHS Direct Interactive digital TV service.

NHS Electronic Care Records (NHS Care Records Service)

Service that will provide a secure, live, interactive NHS Care Record for every patient in England that will be accessible to all health and social care professionals.

NHS Improvement Plan

A government plan that sets objectives for the NHS and related agencies.

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement 

Institute that supports the NHS to improve healthcare by developing and introducing new ways of working, new technology and better leadership.


See NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust.

NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (NHS LIFT)

A local NHS LIFT builds and refurbishes primary care premises that it owns. It rents accommodation to GPs on a lease basis, as well as other parties such as chemists, opticians, dentists.

NHS Plan

A government plan for the NHS that set out a 10 year programme of investment and reform.

NHS redress

System to ensure that patients do not have to go to court to get compensation, care, apologies and investigations if something goes wrong with their NHS hospital treatment or care.

NHS Trusts

Hospitals, community health services, mental health services and ambulance services that are managed by their own boards of directors. NHS trusts provide services on the requirements of patients as represented by primary care trusts.


See National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.


See National minimum standards.

No Secrets

Guidance document for local agencies who have a responsibility to investigate and take action when a vulnerable adult is believed to be suffering abuse.

Non medical prescribing

A programme that gives patients quicker access to medicines, and makes better use of nurses and other health professionals' skills.

Non departmental public bodies

Bodies that have a role in the process of national government, but are not part of government departments.


See National IT programme.


See national service framework

Nurse prescribing

Qualified nurse independent prescribers are now able to prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition within their competence.



See Our health, our care, our say.

Operating framework

The business and financial arrangements for running an organisation.

Opportunity Age

Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) led initiative that aims to improve older people’s access to public services, and make it possible for more older people to remain in their own homes instead of going into care.

Our health, our care, our say

White Paper that set out a vision to provide people with good quality social care and NHS services in the communities where they live.

Our healthier nation

White Paper that put forth a strategy to prevent up to 300,000 untimely and unnecessary deaths by the year 2010. It was superseded by the White Paper, Choosing Health in 2004. 

Our NHS, Our Future

A wide ranging review of the NHS launched in 2007, and led by the health minister Lord Darzi. Health and social care professionals and the public are encouraged to take part.

Outbreak plans

Plans developed to combat possible outbreaks of communicable diseases, including outbreaks caused by the deliberate release of biological agents.

Outcome based commissioning

Form of commissioning that makes better and more creative use of public funds to provide user services.

Out of hours

The patient services provided by GPs outside of normal surgery hours.

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