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How the NHS works

The NHS is an increasingly complex system – The Health and Social Care Act 2012 led to one of the greatest re-organisations of the NHS since its creation in the 1940s.

An example of part of this re-organisation is the creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to deliver NHS services in local areas. These are designed to give GPs and other clinicians the power to influence which services are brought in (commissioned) in their area, in line with what their patients need.

Make the right choices for you

Our Step by Step interactive guide outlines what happens following a diagnosis, to answer your questions and help you to understand what to expect.

Finding your way through the maze of organisations that now exist within, or are linked to, the NHS can be confusing at the best of times. This can be even more the case if you are undergoing the shock and possible cognitive effects of being diagnosed with, and treated for, a brain tumour.

Devolved health systems

Since 1999, devolution to Scotland and Wales, and the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly, has seen health policy and the way the NHS is run diverge in the four countries of the United Kingdom. There is divergence in structures and management approaches, and also a difference in the way social care relates to health in the four countries.

This animation, produced by The Kings Fund, explains the structures of the NHS. By understanding how the NHS works and your place within it, you may feel more confident in engaging with and, if necessary, challenging the system.

If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
Support and Information Services
0808 800 0004 Free from landlines and mobiles
Phone lines open Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00
A member of our Support & Information Team provides support over the phone to somebody affected by a brain tumour diagnosis

Get support

If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.

Share your experiences and help create change

By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.