Community health services

What are community health services?

Shifting more care out of hospital and into the community is one of the improvements outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan and will help ensure we meet the changing health needs of the country over the coming decade.

Community health services cover a wide range of services and provide care for people from birth to the end of their life. Community health teams play a vital role is supporting people with complex health and care needs to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. Services also include health promotion services such as school nursing and health visiting services. Many services involve partnership working across health and social care teams, made up of a wide variety of professionals including GPs, community nurses, allied health professionals, district nurses, mental health nurses, therapists and social care workers.

Services are mainly delivered in people’s homes, (this includes care homes) but also in community hospitals, intermediate care facilities, clinics and schools.

Community health services include:

  • 2 hour rapid crisis response services
  • District nursing
  • Child health services
  • Community occupational therapy
  • Community paediatric clinics
  • Community end of life and palliative care
  • Community physiotherapy
  • Musculoskeletal therapy
  • Pulmonary or cardiac rehabilitation
  • Community podiatry
  • Community speech and language therapy
  • Falls prevention services
  • Intermediate care services
  • Specialist nurses (for example, diabetes, COPD, heart failure, incontinence, tissue viability)
  • Bed-based community rehabilitation
  • Wheelchair services
  • Health visiting
  • School nursing
  • Sexual health services

This list is not exhaustive.

Different types of organisations provide community health services including NHS trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, local authorities and independent providers.