Healthwatch Portsmouth jargon buster

What do we mean?

In health and social care we use a range of specialist phrases, initials and acronyms and make regular reference to health and care organisations, policies and concepts in Portsmouth and the wider area that might at first appear baffling.

In our publications we try, where possible, to avoid using jargon but inevitably on occasions we need to use the specialist language. This page attempts to define the words we commonly use.

If you can think of any other terms that need defining or clarifying please contact us and we will add them to the page, similarly if you think we have got a definition wrong or it could be improved please tell us!

ACO – Accountable Care Organisation – now known as integrated care system.

Acute services – health services provided usually in hospitals.

Adult social care – care and support for adults to enable them to manage their lives and live as independently as possible. People with long term health conditions, physical or mental disabilities, older people may need adult social care services. Adult care is usually accessed through the council. It includes assessment of needs, providing service or allocating funds to enable people to buy their own care and support. It includes residential care, home care, personal assistants, day services, the provision of aids and adaptations and personal budgets.

AMH – adult mental health services.

Big Health Conversation – consultation launched by Portsmouth CCG to consult with local people about the future of health in the local area especially how improvements could be made, their needs and how expectations could be met. See

Care home – residential accommodation where individuals live with other people with staff on-site to provide care and support. Some care homes also employ registered nurses to provide nursing care. Care homes may be privately owned and managed or run by a charity or the local council. Regulated by Care Quality Commission.

CQC – Care Quality Commission – Government body responsible for inspecting and rating all health and social care services in England. Its ratings of services range from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Inadequate’. The CQC will work with bodies receiving the lowest ratings to improve the quality of care, but can shut down a provider, if no improvement occurs. See

CCG Clinical Commissioning Group – NHS body responsible for commissioning local health services (both in hospital and in the community). The CCG decides what services need to be provided and allocates funding to meet these needs. Portsmouth CCG covers the whole Portsmouth City Council area and has an annual budget of approximately £260 million. See .

Commissioning – the planning and funding of local health services.

Co-production – way of working where service users work with professionals as equals to design social care and other services. See

DHSCDepartment of Health and Social Care – Government ministry responsible for shaping health and social care policy in England and funding health and social care services. See

Director of Public Health – council employee responsible for health improvement, health protection and public health in a council area.

Domiciliary care – care provided in home to enable an individual to live an independent life.

EHCEducation Health and Care plan –plan for children and young people, aged up to 25, who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. Replaced statements of special educational needs.

Extra care housing – sheltered housing for older people with care and support available on site to enable them to live independently. Regulated by CQC.

Gosport War Memorial Hospital – hospital in Gosport, part of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Southern Health NHS Trust also provide services at the hospital.

GP – General Practitioner – Local family doctor usually operating with other GPs as part of a practice to provide NHS services as the ‘first port of call’, known as primary care, for all non-urgent or immediate life threatening health conditions. There are 16 GP separate practices currently in the Portsmouth area.

Hampshire County Council – local authority responsible for administering the Hampshire area. HCC has a budget of £1.9billion and employs over 40,000 staff. See

Haslar Hospital – former hospital in Gosport. Set up to care for Army, Navy and Royal Air Force personnel, it also provided healthcare to local people. The hospital closed in 2009 with services transferring to QAH.

Health and Wellbeing Board – local board, administered by the council, which brings together local NHS, public health and council departments. See See also

HOSP – Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel – Council committee responsible for overseeing health and care in Portsmouth. See

Healthwatch – independent local consumer champion for health and care services. Established by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act Healthwatches operate in every local authority area of England. Each local Healthwatch is funded by the local authority which receives funding for this purpose from central Government. Healthwatches replaced the Local Involvement Networks (Links). Healthwatch England operates at the national level to support local Healthwatches and uses the evidence gathered by local Healthwatches. See

Healthwatch Hampshire – Healthwatch covering the Hampshire County Council area. Contact Healthwatch Hampshire if you live in the Hampshire area (including Gosport, Havant, Hayling Island, Leigh Park, Waterlooville) even if your treatment was provided at QAH. See

Healthwatch Portsmouth – Healthwatch service for the Portsmouth City Council area (houses in postcodes PO1 – PO6). See

HIOW – Hampshire and Isle of Wight – area used for the STP, includes counties of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, city of Southampton, and city of Portsmouth. The area has a population of approximately two million people.

ICS – Integrated Care System – ICSs bring together NHS commissioners, providers and local authorities to plan how to improve health and care for the populations in a particular area.

Lake Road – GP surgery in Portsmouth. Also home to Lake Road hub which provides routine and urgent appointments until 10pm, every day of the week. To arrange an appointment at Lake Road contact your GP surgery during normal opening hours or phone 111 out of hours.

Local Offer – Information on what is available locally for children and young people, up to age 25, with special educational needs or a disability. See

(NHS) Long Term Plan – Strategy launched in January 2019 setting out how the NHS will develop over next 10 years. See

MCPMulti-speciality Community Provider – a new approach to providing community healthcare which will see greater integration of primary care, community health and social care services.

NHS England – Government body responsible for the funding of healthcare in England and the direct commissioning of primary care, public health, offender health, military and veteran health as well as specialist health services. In total the NHS employs 1.2 million people in England and has an annual budget of approximately £125 billion. See

Nursing home – residential home with trained nursing care on-site for people needing regular medical treatment. Regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

PALSPatient Advice and Liaison Service – service offering confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters, providing a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers. For PALS at QAH see

PPG – Patient Participation Group – group set up by service such as GP surgeries to bring together patients, the Practice Manager and Doctors to gain feedback from patients and discuss new developments.

Perinatal – period before and immediately after birth. Perinatal care services (such as mental health services) usually cover the period up to year after birth.

PHSO – Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman – independent body to which health and other complaints are referred if they are unable to be resolved by a complaint to the service provider. See

Portsmouth – South coast city with a population of 205,000. Located on Portsea Island, Portsmouth has a population density greater than London. The Portsmouth city area includes Baffins, Buckland, Copnor, Cosham, Drayton, Eastney, Fratton, Hilsea, Milton, North End, Old Portsmouth, Paulsgrove, Somerstown, Stamshaw, Southsea, Tipner and Wymering.

Portsmouth Blueprint – strategy for Portsmouth’s health and care drawn up by PCC and the CCG. See Portsmouth Blueprint.

PCCPortsmouth City Council – authority responsible for the administration of the Portsmouth area. The Council has an annual budget of £162million and employs more than 3,600 staff. See

PHT Portsmouth Hospitals Trust – responsible for running the Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH or QA), Gosport War Memorial Hospital. See

Primary care – GP services, dentists, high street opticians and community pharmacies – over 90% of people’s first contact with the NHS is through primary care.

(Portsmouth) Primary Care Alliance – organisation set up by Portsmouth GP practices which has been contracted to provide city-wide out of hours care. Incorporates the Acute Visiting Service and Extended Access Service –

PSEH – Portsmouth and South East Hampshire – unit used by the NHS to organise services. The PSEH area includes the urban areas of Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Havant as well as the more rural areas of Petersfield and Bordon. The area has a population of around 650,000 people.

Public Health England – agency of DHSC responsible for improving public health and reducing health inequalities. See

QA / QAH Queen Alexandra Hospital – 1,200 bed hospital in Cosham serving mostly Portsmouth and Hampshire based residents. In addition QAH is one of five Ministry of Defence Hospital Units nationally with special responsibility for the armed forces. See Latest CQC reports on the hospital –

Secondary care – Specialist services provided by hospitals and other health providers. Patients are generally referred to secondary care providers by their GP, having had an initial appointment.

SEND – Special Educational Needs and Disability – official framework within which children and young people up to age 25 are assessed and their educational needs met.

Social care – Non medical care and support provided to people to enable them to live as independently as possible.

Solent NHS Trust – NHS body responsible for running community health services in the Portsmouth, Southampton and the South Hampshire area. Main provider of mental health services in Portsmouth. Solent employs approximately 3,800 staff and has an annual budget of £175million. See

St James Hospital – hospital in Milton offering mental health services. Services are provided by Solent NHS Trust. Formerly used as an inpatient mental hospital, much of the site is undergoing redevelopment.

St Mary’s Community Health Campus – hospital in Milton offering a range of in-patient and community services. Managed by Solent NHS Trust.

St Mary’s Treatment Centre – Urgent care walk-in centre for minor injuries or illnesses, located in Milton. This is an NHS facility run by Care UK. See

STP – Sustainability and Transformation Partnership -(previously known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans) – STPs were created to bring local health and care leaders together to plan around the long-term needs of local communities, within existing resources. STPs aim to build services around the needs of local areas, in our case the Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight and the wider Hampshire area, rather than around existing organisation boundaries, and to meet need within limited resources. It is estimated that if the NHS across Hampshire and Isle of Wight do nothing to change the rising demand for services and the way they are provided, by 2020/21 a gap of £577 million between the money received and what is needed will exist. NHS England anticipate that by 2021 all STPs will have grown into Integrated Care Systems. Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP. Kings Fund – STPs explained.

Supported living services – Adapted accommodation as an alternative to residential care for people requiring care and support to live independent lives. Supported living services themselves are not regulated by the CQC but care services that come in to provide support and care are regulated.

Third sector – voluntary organisations; charities and others operating on a not for profit basis.

Wessex Voices – Collaboration, funded by NHS England, between Healthwatch Dorset, Healthwatch Hampshire, Healthwatch Isle of Wight, Healthwatch Portsmouth and Healthwatch Southampton to promote greater public involvement in health and care across the region. See

Updated 18 April 2021

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