Jargon and Acronym Buster

In the NHS we use lots of acronyms. We’ve put together this glossary of different terms and explanations of acronyms to help you understand a bit more about some more commonly used terms

We hope you find the below explanations useful. If there are some terms or acronyms you come across that you feel would be useful to add to our list, please get in touch on leedsccg.comms@nhs.net or call 0113 221 7777.


Jargon and Acronym Buster, April 2020 (390KB)

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Acute care

Acute care is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery.

Accessible Information Standard (AIS)

The AIS was introduced by the government in 2016 to make sure that people with a disability or sensory impairment are given information in a way they can understand. If you would like to know more about the AIS, please follow the link to the NHS England website page: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/accessibleinfo

Active signposting

Active signposting is one of the 10 high impact actions to release capacity in general practice. It provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. If you would like to know more about Active signposting, please follow the link to the NHS England website page: www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/redesign/gpdp

Better conversations

An informal coalition of organisations and individuals unified in wanting to improve conversations between the health and care system and people seeking care, their families and communities. CCG Clinical commissioning groups(CCG) are groups of GPs and health professionals who are directly responsible for commissioning most NHS services. If you would like to know more about the CCGs, please follow the link to the NHS Clinical Commissioners website: www.nhscc.org/ccgs


Commissioning is the process of assessing needs, planning and prioritising, purchasing and monitoring health services, to get the best health outcomes.


Co-production is when you as an individual influence the support and services you receive, or when groups of people get together to influence the way that services are designed, commissioned and delivered.

Deliberative public event

Deliberative events are a two way process whereby information is given to participants which enables them to understand and discuss the issues and proposals so they can make informed and considered decisions.

Five Year Forward View

The NHS Five Year Forward View was published in 2014 and sets out a vision for the future of the NHS. It describes various models of care which could be provided in the future, defining the actions required at local and national level to support delivery. If you would like to know more about Fiver Year Forward View, please follow the link to the NHS England website:  www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf


Frailty is a term used by professionals to describe the loss of body resilience, which means that in the case of a physical or mental illness, an accident or other stressful event, people living with frailty will not bounce back quickly.

Health inequalities

The gap between the health of different groups such as the wealthy compared to poorer communities or people with different ethnic backgrounds.


Healthwatch is the consumer champion for health and social care created as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Its role is to champion the voice of patients and to make sure that those who run services, and the government, put people the heart of social care. If you would like to know more about Healthwatch, please follow the link to the Healthwatch website: www.healthwatch.co.uk

Health and Social Care Act, 2012

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out specific obligations for the health system and its relationship with care and support services. If you would like to know more about the Health and Social Care Act 2012, please follow the link to the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-social-care-act-2012-fact-sheets

Local care partnerships (LCPs)

Local Care Partnerships (LCPs) is the term used in Leeds to describe our model of joined-up working to deliver local care for local people; working in and with local communities. If you would like to know more about Local Care Partnerships, please follow the link to the Inspiring Change Leeds website: www.inspiringchangeleeds.org/whats-changing/local-care-partnerships-2

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT)

LTHT is one of the biggest NHS trusts in the country and offers a full range of specialist and general hospital services. The trust also acts as a centre for a number of specialist services such as cancer and cardiac services. If you would like to know more about LTHT, please follow the link to the LTHT website: www.leedsth.nhs.uk

Leeds Voices project

The Leeds Voices project supports the engagement of citizens and communities in the development of health services in the city. If you would like to know more about Leeds Voices, please follow the link to the Leeds Voices website page: doinggoodleeds.org.uk/leeds-voices

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT)

LYPFT provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in Leeds. If you would like to know more about LYPFT, please follow the link to the LYPFT website: www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk

Maternity Voices Partnership Group (MVP)

A MVP is a NHS working group: a team of women and their families, commissioners and providers (midwives and doctors) working together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care. If you would like to know more about MVP, please follow the link to the MVP website: www.mvpleeds.com

NHS England

NHS England oversees the planning, delivery and day-to-day operation of the NHS in England as set out in the Health and Social care Act 2012. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England. If you would like to know more about NHS England, please follow the link to the NHS England website: www.england.nhs.uk

Patient Assurance Group (PAG)

The PAG is an advisory group working with the CCG. Its role is to provide assurance that the voices of patients, public and carers are heard and taken into account in the development of an integrated health and social care system.

Patient and public layperson

The lay member helps ensure that local people’s voices are heard, at Governing Body level, in CCG’s work and that opportunities to get people involved in co-design are created and protected for patient and public.

Patient participation group (PPG)

A patient participation group (PPG) is a group of patients who support their GP practice to improve the experience of registered patients. If you would like to know more about PPG, please follow the link to the NHS Leeds CCG website, PPG page: https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/getting-more-involved/patient-participation-group/

People’s Voices Group (PVG)

The PVG was set up by the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board to help improve engagement across the city with health and care organisations. If you would like to know more about PVG, please follow the link to Healthwatch Leeds website, PVG page: https://healthwatchleeds.co.uk/our-work/pvg/

Primary care

Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ to the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental and optometry (eye health) services.


NHS procurement is the buying of health goods or services at the best possible cost to meet the needs of our patients in terms of quality, quantity and location.


These are the organisations or people who deliver NHS services, such as hospitals or community services.

Seldom heard groups

The term ‘seldom heard groups’ or ‘hard to reach groups’ refers to under-represented people whose views are less likely to be heard by professionals. Many factors can contribute to making it harder to hear from certain people, such as disability, ethnicity, sensory impairments, homelessness or mental health problems.

Service specification

A service specification is a document that explains what is required from a service and the performance expected of the service.

Single point of access (SPA)

SPA is a central place, site or phone number (e.g., 999, NHS Direct, GP out-of-hours, NHS 111) which provides a gateway to a range of health and social services.

Social prescribing

Social prescribing is a way of enabling health professionals to refer patients with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of local, non-medical services. If you would like to know more about Social prescribing, please follow the link to NHS England website, Social prescribing page: www.england.nhs.uk/personalisedcare/social-prescribing


A stakeholder is a person, group or organisation that has a direct or indirect stake in the NHS because it can affect or be affected by NHS actions, objectives or policies.


A long term plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal.

Ten high impact actions (HIA)

The 10 HIA are ways of working that have been found to free up space in general practice and improve care for patients. If you would like to know more about HIA, please follow the link to the NHS England website:  www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/redesign/gpdp

Voluntary and community sector

The community and voluntary sector, or third sector, is huge and incredibly diverse and covers everything from neighbourhood watch groups to social enterprises to national and international charities and everything in between.