When it comes to care, there can be a lot to understand, and navigating a new landscape can be overwhelming. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of jargon-busting.

We've compiled below some of the most frequently used terms and language that you might encounter, in an attempt to make life a little easier.

  • Continuing Healthcare (CHC)

    Care that is arranged and funded by the NHS, for individuals aged 18 or over who have been assessed as needing care due to disability, accident, or illness. See our funding page for more information.

  • Department of Health

    The government department responsible for policy on health and adult social care in the UK. Click here to find out more. 

  • National Health Service (NHS)

    Responsible for healthcare of UK citizens. The NHS is funded through taxation, meaning that access to healthcare is based on need, and not the individual's ability to pay.

  • Local authority

    An administrative body in local government, made up of Councillors elected by the public and paid council staff who are responsible for service delivery. Some care provision is funded through local authorities. See our funding page for more information.

  • Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

    Clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for planning and commissioning health services for the local area they represent. CCGs replaced Primary Care Trust's (PCT) in the 2013 NHS reform.

  • Commissioning Support Unit (CSU)

    Provide back-office support, business intelligence and contract management for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG). CSUs were established in the 2013 NHS reform.

  • Complex care

    Care provision that is tailored to an individual with a complex health condition, which involves ongoing nursing care.

  • Decision support tool (DST)

    A tool that provides support for practitioners making decisions on appropriate funding for NHS patients, for example those applying for continuing healthcare funding.

  • Personal health budget (PHB)

    An amount of money to support identified health needs, funded by the NHS, to allow the individual greater choice and control over the care they receive. Individual's in receipt of a PHB are given control over how to spend their allocated funds, e.g. appointing their own provider, employing carers directly. Find out more here.

  • Personal budget

    Personal budgets are provided by local authorities and created following an assessment by social services. If it is decided an individual needs any kind of support, a personal budget will be offered as an option for how to receive funding.

  • Direct payments

    Once a social services assessment has identified the need for a personal budget, direct payments allow individuals greater flexibility over how their care and support is arranged and provided.

  • Primary health need

    To be eligible for continuing healthcare funding through the NHS, an individual must be classed as having a 'primary health need'. This need for care must relate directly to health, rather than social care.

  • Multi-disciplinary team (MDT)

    A group of professionals from more than one discipline, involved in an individual's care and wellbeing, that makes collective decisions regarding their ongoing treatment. Membership often includes: GPs, hospitals, physiotherapists, care provider, etc.

  • Power of attorney (POA)

    The authority to act on behalf of another person in legal or financial matters.