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The health and social care system

  • Last modified date:
    24 May 2007
Doctor treating child patient

The Department of Health manages the health and social care system at a national level. This section explains how primary and secondary NHS care work together with social care providers to deliver care locally.

Managing health and social care

The Department of Health has overall responsibility for health and social care in England.

Delivering primary care

Primary care describes community based health services that are usually the first, and often the only, point of contact that patients make with the health service.

Delivering secondary care

NHS hospitals provide acute and specialist services, treating conditions which normally cannot be dealt with by primary care specialists or which are brought in as an emergency.

Delivering social care

Social care covers a wide range of services that can help people to carry on in their daily lives and is one of the major public services.

Integrated care

Integrated care combines both health and social care services to ensure individuals get the right treatment and care.

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