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Jargon Buster

A guide to some of the terms that you may come across in the NHS.


Formal recognition that an organisation or individual has met certain standards and competencies.


Addiction means not having control over doing, taking or using something, to the point that it may be harmful. You cannot think about anything else much - other than doing or having the thing you are addicted to, and you have little or no control over your urges for that thing.


Coming into hospital either as a day case or for a longer stay


A trained and independent person who will support you in talking to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This could involve putting questions to them on your behalf, or making sure they understand your point of view.


Accident and Emergency Department - The part of a hospital for anyone who has a serious injury or who needs emergency treatment. In some hospitals, this is known as the Emergency Department (ED).


Group of people, for example, managing an organisation.


Body Mass Index


Common Assessment Framework – standardised approach for assessing the needs of children and young people.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service promote the mental health and psychological well-being of children and young people.


This means saying yes to something that affects you for example to give your permission for a test, operation, procedure or share of information. Informed Consent means that you fully understand what you are agreeing to.


When you officially leave hospital following an operation or procedure or officially leave a service.


A meeting or group designed to give people a voice.


High level, long term strategic management of a service or organisation, often with legal responsibility.


General Practitioner - Your local doctor - or family doctor - who will usually be the first person you see if you have a physical illness or emotional problem. They can help you directly but can also refer you on for specialist care or assessment.


Looked After Children – who are provided with somewhere to live by social services for more than 24 hours, as a result of a court order, or after agreement with their parents. Children become 'looked after' when their birth parents are unable to provide ongoing, temporary or permanent, care.


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

A scanner that produces images of parts of the body by use of strong magnetic field and electromagnetic waves.


Medical, nursing and other related professionals and non-medical staff such as Social Services and the Voluntary Sector, working together as a team.


National Health Service – the NHS was set in 1948 to provide healthcare for everyone in the United Kingdom, based on need, not the ability to pay. It is made up of a wide range of health professionals, support workers and health care organisations.


This is when someone you know contacts another service that you may require to make an appointment for you to see them. A self referral is when you can contact the service yourself to make an appointment.


Sexually Transmitted Infection


Any organisation run on a not-for profit basis.


When the views of young people are at the heart of the decision-making within an organisation or project. For an organisation or project to be truly youth-led, young people should be effectively supported in gaining the skills to make key decisions about how and why things are done.


The process of involving young people in decision-making in a meaningful way.