NHS England publishes Understanding the new NHS – A guide for everyone working and training within the NHS

When Sir Bruce Keogh was NHS Medical Director, he commissioned a guide to the NHS for junior doctors. At the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management conference in October 2013, he committed to updating this guide to reflect the changes in the new NHS.

NHS England have today fulfilled this commitment and published Understanding the new NHS – A guide for everyone working and training within the NHS (this document can be found on our archived website).  Written by five doctors in training, the guide outlines the organisations, systems and processes that define, sustain and regulate the NHS.

The document is an accessible, practical and informative tool for everyone working and training in the NHS, and will be of particular interest and relevance to doctors and clinicians in training.

This guide is a snapshot in time and is correct at the date of issue – June 2014.


  1. Stephen Morgan says:

    There appears to a significant error in the figures on population and healthcare budget on pages 24/25.
    In particular the Population of England is given as 50 million and that of Wales as 3.2 million whereas the official figures from the ONS that were available to the compilers of this guide give the figures as 52.6 and 3.0 million respectively.
    This 5% underestimate of the English and 7% overestimate of the Welsh population makes the spending per head across the UK look much more equitable than it really is. Using the correct population figures Scotland’s health budget is 29% more than England’s . Wales has the nearest budget to England but even this is 14% per head greater.
    Differences of this scale are very important and need to be more widely appreciated so is disappointing to find this official publication apparently struggling with accuracy. I do hope the budget figures are not so flawed!

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. We are not currently planning an updated edition but will endeavour to make corrections in any future edition.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  2. Rod Whiteley says:

    I quite like this useful guide and I’ll be recommending it to colleagues, though the two-page format with up to two columns on each page makes it hard to read, especially on a mobile device.

    As a public representative (a public governor of a foundation trust) I’m disappointed to see the guide give the false impression Healthwatch has a monopoly on public involvement. That may be what was once wished for in some circles, but it definitely isn’t happening. Even NHS England has sidestepped Healthwatch with its NHS Citizen project.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Rod,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on the guide. All of the comments we receive are most welcome and we will consider them carefully for any future revision of the guide.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  3. Anon says:

    shame there is no mention of Operational Delivery Networks in this