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Common NHS Abbreviations/ Acronyms

The wonderful world of the NHS loves its acronyms, including its own name and all the hospitals and support networks. It can be incredibly confusing when speaking to someone who knows a business structure, committee, project, or drug as an acronym.

Acronyms can become so commonplace that they evolve into an ordinary word that people no longer think of as an acronym, i.e. NHS, Scuba, Laser.

If you are writing something very formal it is best to spell things out and make sure you and the reader understand what the abbreviation means.

Examples of NHS themed sentences with abbreviations:

  • The FT has had a CQC assessment on FPPR.
  • Please find attached AY’s APB for the IA of QIPP at the CCG.
  • The Trust’s NEDs, including the Chairman, are appointed by NHSI for a fixed term.
  • The reported figure includes finance PSF and excludes A&E performance PSF.
  • The CEO of NHSI, in exercise of powers conferred on the NHS TDA, has designated that the CEO should be the AO of the Trust. 

A glossary of abbreviations/acronyms can be found on most formal NHS documents, e.g. Annual Reports and can generally be found on internet searches. A helpful website is https://www.nhsconfed.org/acronym-buster.

Below is a list of common abbreviations used within the NHS which is intended to assist readers in understanding some of the more common terms used:

A&E

AC

AO

APB

APMS

AQP

ASD

AY

Accident and Emergency Department

Audit Committee

Accountable Officer

Audit Planning Brief

Alternative Providers of Medical Services

Any Qualified Provider

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Audit Yorkshire

BCF/iBCF

Better Care Fund/improved Better Care Fund

CAMHS

CC2H

CCG

C. Diff

CEO

CFO

CO

COO

CPMSC

CQC

CQuIN

CoSec

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Care Closer to Home

Clinical Commissioning Group

Clostridium difficile

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Finance Officer

Chief Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Commissioning Primary Medical Services Committee Care Quality Commission

Commissioning for Quality and Innovation

Company Secretary

DoF

DoLS

Director of Finance

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

EA

External Audit

FD

FPPR

FT

Finance Director

Fit and Proper Persons Regulation

Foundation Trust

GMS

General Medical Services

HCAI

HMRC

HOIA

HWB

Health Care Associated Infection

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

Head of Internal Audit

Health and Wellbeing Board

IA

ICS

Internal Audit

Integrated Care Partnership

LTC

Long Term Condition

MCA

MD

MRSA

MSK

Mental Capacity Act

Medical Director

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Musculoskeletal

NED

NHSI

NHSE

NICE

Non-Executive Director

NHS Improvement

NHS England

National Institute of Clinical Excellence

PALS

PBR

PCN

PMS

PPEE

PPI

PSF

Patient Advice and Liaison Team

Payment by Results

Primary Care Network

Primary Medical Services

Patient and Public Engagement and Experience

Patient and Public Involvement

Provider Sustainability Funding

QIPP

Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention

RCRTRP

Right Care, Right Time, Right Place

SCR

SDMP

SI

SMT

STP

Serious Case Review

Sustainable Development Management Plan

Serious Incident

Senior Management Team

Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

TDA

Trust Development Authority

VSM

Very Senior Manager

This list is not exhaustive at all