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Although the National Health Service is perhaps the most important public service provided by the British state, its complex structures can make it the most difficult public service to understand.
There is no single public body called the ‘National Health Service’ and no single legal regime that governs how NHS bodies should operate. Instead, the NHS is made up of a complex network of public bodies which operate as commissioners of NHS services who contract with NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, private businesses and charities that all provide medical, dental and other services to NHS patients.
The NHS ‘managed market’ is overseen by both economic and care quality regulators. The rules under which commissioners, providers and regulators operate are both inaccessible and of such complexity that they can be impenetrable for even the most specialist lawyers.
NHS Law and Practice is the first book to describe the large and complex legal structures of the modern NHS. It explains the legal relationships between NHS commissioners and primary care, community and acute providers of NHS services, as well as explaining the structure of NHS regulation. This book provides a detailed guide to enforcing patients’ legal rights around NHS Continuing Healthcare, patient choice and the rules around NHS personal budgets.
Edited and written by a team of specialist lawyers whose involvement with NHS law and many of the leading cases over decades has given them unrivalled expertise in NHS and healthcare law. This book will be an essential text for anyone who needs to understand how the legal structures of the NHS currently operate and how they should operate.