Department of Health

Root Definition

Provides health and adult social care services in England by commissioning provision of health and social care interventions and monitoring the use and effectiveness of those interventions.

That includes:

Funding health and adult social care interventions.
Ensuring value for money and efficiency of interventions.
Commissioning the recording and monitoring health and social care interventions.


Health services
Social services


Regulatory bodies (e.g. CQC, NICE, Monitor)
Data managers (mainly HSCIC)
Commissioners (NHS England, CCGs)
Providers (GPs, Hospitals, other providers (e.g. physiotherapists))
Professional bodies


Transforms funds into interventions.
Transforms data about interventions into information, knowledge and insight into healthcare effectiveness.
Transforms knowledge and insight into plans for health development.


The health system as a whole, and the NHS in particular, is seen as an important national asset for maintaining the wellbeing of the population. It operates on limited funding, and there is a significant emphasis on value for money. Information on the scope, effectiveness and efficiency of health interventions, and the relationship morbidity and mortality within the population are a key concern. The Department of Health is the governments main agent for health and adult social care in England, and as such supports the development and implementation of national policy, while ensuring public funds are managed and spent appropriately.


The government on behalf of citizens. Though there is a significant private healthcare infrastructure, the government also has a responsibility to regulate that infrastructure.


The media, who have a significant influence on the political agenda, and who are prone to develop agendas to promote or challenge established practice.
The public, who have a strong affinity for the NHS.
Professional bodies and the MBA.
Organisations that provide international comparators (e.g. WHO).

Relavent Subsystems

HSCIC - who provide a service for the collection of data on health interventions.
NHS England, who are the top level commissioner of healthcare provision
Professional bodies

Contribution to the problem situation

Over and above the contribution of subsystems, there is a lack of quantifiable data on comparators between MBIs and other interventions that target equivalent cohorts (e.g longitudinal effect of an MBI on depression relapse over 5 and 10 years, in relation to effectiveness and cost of drug interventions over the same period).