The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC)

The Department of Health (often referred to as the DH) is the government body responsible for the policy, guidance and publications for NHS and social care professionals. The Department of Health provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England.

The DH is committed to improving the quality and convenience of care provided by the NHS and social services. Its work includes setting national standards, shaping the direction of health and social care services and promoting healthier living.

The DH is responsible for:

  • standards of health care, including the NHS
  • setting the strategic framework for adult social care and influencing local authority spend on social care
  • setting the direction on promoting and protecting the public's health, taking the lead on issues such as environmental hazards to health, infectious diseases, health promotion and education, the safety of medicines, and ethical issues.

The Department of Health has a lot of information on its website about Health Care, Social Care and Public Health.

You can contact the DH in a number of ways. For more information, please visit the Department of Health contact us section.

Integrated Care Systems (ICS)

Following the 2022 Health and Care Act, the ICS came into being – the aim of which is to produce more collaboration between health and social care. The ICS is made up of a combination of different agencies namely the  ICB and the  ICP (see definitions below). They are responsible for planning services, improving health and reducing health inequalities. 

The Integrated Care Board (ICB) has significant control over the budget and is directly accountable to  NHS England over performance and spend. It takes over functions previously provided by the now abolished CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and must produce a 5- year system plan demonstrating how they will meet the needs of their population

The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) is the partnership of the ICB, Local Authorities, the  NHS and the VCSE (Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise) sector within the given area.  They must produce a Health and Integrated Care Strategy for the area, taking into account the local JSNAs (Joint Strategic Needs Assessments), the Health and Wellbeing Strategy (from the Health and Wellbeing Board), local communities and Healthwatch.  ICPs will not commission services.

Preventative services, such as ones tackling Lifestyle Change, are commissioned by Cheshire East Council because of its Public Health responsibilities

Cheshire East Hospitals

Hospital based services are primarily provided by Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the East Cheshire NHS Trust.

  • The Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust operates the hospitals in Crewe (Leighton) and the Victoria Infirmary at Northwich as well as the Elmhurst intermediate care centre in Winsford.
  • The East Cheshire NHS Trust operates hospitals in Congleton, Knutsford and Macclesfield.
  • The East Cheshire NHS Trust also manages the community services in East Cheshire (formerly known as Cheshire East Community Health to 31 March 2011). 

For a full list of health services in Cheshire East please visit NHS - Health services near you. This can be used to find a local doctor, hospital or dentist as well as pharmacies, amongst other health services.

Page last reviewed: 27 September 2022

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