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NHS Context

How we fit into the NHS structure

The NHS is one of the largest public sector organisations in the world. It was set up in 1948 to provide healthcare for all British Citizens based on need and not the ability to pay.

The Department of Health are responsible for strategic leadership of both the health and social care systems. NHS England is an independent body, at arm’s length to the government. The main roles of NHS England are to:

  • provide national leadership for improving outcomes and driving up the quality of care
  • oversee the operation of clinical commissioning groups
  • allocate resources to clinical commissioning groups
  • commission primary care and specialist services

All GP practices belong to a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the groups also include other health professionals, such as nurses. CCGs commission most services, including:

  • planned hospital care
  • rehabilitative care
  • urgent and emergency care (including out-of-hours)
  • most community health services
  • mental health and learning disability services

Northamptonshire Healthcare is an NHS Foundation Trust. This means that although we manage ourselves locally, we still link to and work with our NHS partners. We also work closely with Monitor, the independent regulator of foundation trusts.

Local health partners

NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical CCGs, are two of the mains commissioners of our services and provide a large almost of our income. The CCGs commission both the health and social care elements of adult mental health services as well as community health services. We have a contract in place with them for agreed financial, activity and quality standards for the services we provide.

We also work closely with Northamptonshire County Council’s Public Health department, who commission services from us such as our breastfeeding support service.

For more information about the NHS in England, visit NHS Choices.

Last updated: 07 July 2014

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Our NHS partners

The following are links to other NHS organisations that we work with in our capacity as an NHS Foundation Trust:



Our local Clinical Commissioning Groups 

NHS England

The national NHS leaders and commissioners 

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Northampton's Hospital (Acute Trust)

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Kettering's Hospital (Acute Trust)

NHS Choices

National NHS support and information service 

Northamptonshire County Council

The local county council - the provider of Social Care Services and Public Health

Care Quality Commission

The NHS quality 'watch dog' organisation


The organisation that oversees the activities of Foundation Trusts such as NHFT


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