Making and implementing policy is a key strand of the Department of Health’s work. DH policies are designed to improve on existing arrangements in health and social care, and turn political vision into actions that should benefit staff, patients and the public. They aim to ensure services funded or supported by the Department are delivered in the most responsive, flexible and patient-centred way.

There are three key policy areas:


The National Health Service in England provides free healthcare for all, based on need, not on ability to pay. The Department publishes strategies and policies on wide ranging issues that are relevant for the NHS including modernisation, innovation, patient safety and resources for NHS managers.

Public health

Public health is about helping people to stay healthy and avoid getting ill, so this includes work on a whole range of policy areas such as immunisation, nutrition, tobacco and alcohol, drugs recovery, sexual health, pregnancy and children’s health.

Social care

The Department of Health works to define policy and guidance for delivering a social care system that provides care equally for all, while enabling people to retain their independence, control and dignity.

Read more about how policy is developed

Comments are closed.