The Structure of the NHS in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the structure of the NHS is slightly different. Each country has its own government and its own way of managing its health service. However, the basic principle remains the same as that of the English NHS; a member of parliament is essentially responsible for liaising between central government and the main operational body which manages the health service. In turn this operational body, or bodies, manage the local organisations which manage the health service in particular areas of one region of the country. These local organisations are responsible for monitoring and managing the health service to ensure a smooth service for the general public.


Scotland
A member of the Scottish parliament, the minister for health and community care, liaises with the department of health. The department of health is responsible for the fourteen Scottish NHS Boards, each of which is governed by a board of directors. These various boards manage the health service at a local level, monitoring the care given by hospitals and primary care services including GP surgeries and NHS walk-in centres.


Wales
A member of the Welsh parliament, the minister for health and social services, liaises with the director of the Welsh NHS. The director is in contact with the Welsh health commission and the three regional Welsh offices. These offices are responsible for the local health boards, who manage and monitor the NHS Trusts responsible for providing the health services used by the Welsh people.


Northern Ireland

The executive committee of Northern Ireland, the Northern Irish government, liaises with the minister for health, social services and public safety. This minister is a representative of the department of health, social services and public safety. Northern Ireland is unique in having an integrated health and social services system; the department of health, social services and public safety, monitors the four health and social services boards, which in turn monitor local care groups and local trusts. These local organisations are responsible for providing health services such as GP surgeries and opticians.


For details of the NHS in England, see: