Glossary of terms and NHS jargon-buster


Academic Health Science Centre

An organisation that provides health care to patients and which undertakes research. An AHSC usually provides teaching and education as well.


Services (usually in-patient) which treat patients for a certain condition for a short time.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


A dictionary definition of ‘advocacy’ tells us that an advocate is:
Citizen advocacy: Means speaking up for someone else. Unpaid volunteers who try to represent the interests and concerns of their partner as if they were their own, but do not make decision for their partner. They must be independent of people providing care or services for their partner.
Legal advocacy: Possibly a solicitor or a barrister or an advice worker. They give advice so that people can speak up for themselves.
Collective advocacy: A group of people working together to speak out for what they want. Some organisations undertake collective advocacy - eg, MENCAP, Mind, Cambridgeshire Independent Advocacy Service, trade unions.
Peer advocacy: Help and support from people with a similar background or experience to your own.
Professional advocacy: Someone who is paid to provide support and advice, independent of any services used. They will have professional skills and knowledge and a good knowledge of local services.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, which describes the loss of mental abilities, such as memory and reasoning.


Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and a mental health condition. People who have anorexia have problems with eating. They are very anxious about their weight. They keep it as low as possible, by strictly controlling and limiting what they eat.

Anti-psychotic drugs

Drugs used to treat psychosis, including schizophrenia and mania. They also have tranquilising effects, reducing agitation.

Approved Mental Health Professional

Someone who has had specific training in the legal aspects of mental health assessment and treatment. AMPHs are approved by their local authority social services department to organise and carry out assessments under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA).

Approved Social Workers (ASWs)

Social workers specifically approved and appointed under Section 114 of the Mental Health Act 1983 by a local social services authority ‘for the purposes of discharging the functions conferred upon them by this Act’. One of the most important is to carry out assessments under the Act and to function as applicant in cases where compulsory admission is deemed necessary. Before being appointed, social workers must undertake post-qualifying training approved by the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW).

Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC)

Members from all local statutory agencies working with children, with an independent chair who must ensure that all children are protected from significant harm, including responsibility for establishing good local policies and practices and ensuring they are adhered to.

Art therapy

Difficult feelings can often be more easily accessed through using imagination and creativity rather than thinking and talking. In art therapy sessions, you are encouraged to freely express your difficult thoughts and feelings using a variety of materials. This can help you to understand difficult feelings, and to change patterns of how you relate them to yourself, and to others. Music therapists, drama therapists and dance and movement therapists work in a similar way using other forms of expression.

Assertive outreach /assertive community treatment /intensive case management

Ensuring those most in need of specialist mental health care remain in touch with services.

Atypical (novel) antipsychotic drugs

Range of newer and more expensive antipsychotic drugs used in the treatment of psychosis, most commonly schizophrenia.

Audit Commission

Appoints and regulates the external auditors of statutory authorities, including the NHS. Role to promote proper stewardship of public finances and helping managers to achieve economy, effectiveness and efficiency.

Audit Committee

Trust’s own committee monitoring Trust’s performance, probity and accountability.


Undertake detailed examinations of all aspects of health care performance, including financial performance.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder is a behaviourally defined syndrome characterised by communication impairments, social interaction problems and unusual interest patterns and/or stereotyped behaviour. It occurs in about 1% of children and often gives rise to serious lifelong disabilities that cause considerable suffering and distress to individuals and their families.


British Medical Association


Bereavement is a distressing but common experience. We grieve after any sort of loss, but most powerfully after the death of someone we love. It is not just one feeling, but a whole succession of feelings, which take a while to get through and which cannot be hurried.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder used to be called ‘manic depression’. As the older name suggests, someone with bipolar disorder will have severe mood swings. These usually last several weeks or months and are far beyond what most of us experience.

Caldicott Guardian

Each NHS organisation has a nominated ‘Caldicott Guardian’ responsible for ensuring the Trust complies with the Caldicott principles. These aim to ensure the protection of patient’s right to privacy, dignity and confidentiality. CPFT's Caldicott Guardian is Medical Director Dr Chess Denman.

Cambridgeshire Independent Advocacy Service (CIAS)

The CIAS covers Peterborough and Cambridgeshire providing a full range of free and independent advocacy services. (See advocacy)


Cameo is a CPFT service that provides specialised assessment, care and support to young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis.


Used as shorthand to describe Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. There are four different levels of services for children and adolescents with mental health problems - these are described as Tiers 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and information sessions to help you get back on your feet again after a heart attack, heart surgery or procedure.

Care co-ordinator/key worker

The person who is responsible for making sure that your care is properly planned and you get the help you need. They will usually work with a community mental health team and will be the person you see most often. They will usually be a Community Psychiatric Nurse, social worker or occupational therapist.

Care pathway

Patient’s journey through primary care, specialist and community services to discharge/continuing care.

Care plan

A plan for your care over the next few weeks or months. It should be written down and you should have a copy. If you think it is wrong, or something is missing, you can ask for it to be changed.

Care Programme Approach (CPA) / care management

The CPA provides a framework for care co-ordination. The main elements are a care co-ordinator, a written care plan, and at higher levels regular reviews by the multi-disciplinary team and integration with the care management system. Involves assessment of need, care planning and the organisation of care packages within available resources.

Care Quality Commission

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. It regulates care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. It aima to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes. It also seeks to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.


Contained Air Solutions - safety cabinets used to hold or contain microbiological samples.


A volume or list of patient referrals belonging to a healthcare professional. 


Relatives or friends who voluntarily look after individuals who are sick, disabled, vulnerable or frail.


Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of General Practices that work together to plan and design local health services in England. They do this by 'commissioning' or buying health and care services.


Clostridium Difficile - a type of bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system. 

CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a general term for a wide range of conditions including Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Myalgia is muscle pain and encephalomyelitis refers to inflammation and dysfunction of the brain and spinal cord. The main symptom of CFS is profound and continued fatigue and exhaustion which does not go away with sleep or rest.


The Trust chaplaincy service can help you to contact an appropriate representative of your faith. There are chapels at some of our sites that can be used for private prayer or religious services.

Choose and Book

Enabling patients to book appointments at point of referral with a choice of time and date

Clinical audit

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) defines clinical audit as: 'a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change. Aspects of the structure, processes and outcomes of care are selected and systematically evaluated against explicit criteria. Where indicated, changes are implemented at an individual, team, or service level and further monitoring is used to confirm improvement in healthcare delivery.'

Clinical governance

How we make sure we carry out treatments safely and effectively and encourage a culture of excellence in our staff to continuously improve quality of care.

Clinical trial

A research study to answer specific questions about new therapies or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical trials are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective.


A term which is used to describe someone who provides care and treatment to patients, such as a nurse, psychiatrist or psychologist.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

A 'talking treatment' which helps you to see how early relationships and experiences have affected how you see yourself, other people and how you behave. It usually takes about 16 weekly sessions and focuses on a problem that is important for you.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

A form of psychological therapy based on learning theory principles used mostly in depression but increasingly shown to be a useful part of the treatment for schizophrenia.


Identifying health needs of local people, planning and purchasing health services which respond to their needs. Primary Care Trusts are responsible for deciding what services their local residents need from the NHS and buy these services with public money from the most appropriate providers.

Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN)

The CQUIN payment framework enables commissioners to reward excellence, by linking a proportion of English healthcare providers' income to the achievement of local quality improvement goals.

Community care

A network of services provided by the NHS, social services and volunteers designed to keep people independent, and to support elderly people or people with mental health problems or learning disabilities who might previously have been in hospital.

Community mental health team

Multi-disciplinary team offering specialist assessment, treatment and care to people in their own homes and the community.

Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN)

A nurse who has been trained to help people with mental health problems and who works in the community, instead of in a hospital.


The simultaneous presence of two or more disorders, often refers to combination of severe mental illness, substance misuse, learning disability and personality disorder. The term dual diagnosis or complex needs may also be used.

Complementary therapies

A wide range of treatments which can add something to conventional treatment - eg, Reiki, Indian head massage, aromatherapy, dance and movement etc.

Consultant Psychiatrist

The medical doctor with specialist experience and qualifications in mental illness and emotional disorders that has overall responsibility for your care. This includes your medication and other activities you may take part in whilst in hospital.


Patient contact details or contact times - eg, face-to-face meetings, first assessment. Or details of family or friends who may provide a point of reference in support of patient care. 

Corporate governance

The system by which organisations are directed and controlled. The principles of corporate governance are openness, integrity and accountability.


Continuing Professional Development


Commissioning for Quality and Innovation - a framework aiming to secure improvements in quality of services and better outcomes for patients, whilst also maintaining strong financial management. 

Crisis resolution/home treatment service (CRHT)

New models of care for people with severe and enduring mental illness


Drug and Alcohol Action Teams (multi-agency)

Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. Everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. 


A deanery, within healthcare in the UK, is responsible for the organisation and management of postgraduate medical and dental training.


Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities.


When you're depressed, you may have feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time. These feelings are severe enough to interfere with your daily life, and can last for weeks or months, rather than days. Depression is quite common, and about 15% of people will have a bout of severe depression at some point in their lives.


Department of Health


Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin.


Drug Intervention Programme (multi-agency)


Loss of contact with services by the service user.

District nursing

Community nursing services include district nurses and community matrons. District nursing teams assess, plan and provide nursing clinical care to those people who are often housebound due to ill health, either in their own home, or in a care home that does not provide nursing.


Did not attend. Used to indicate if a person did not attend a scheduled meeting, activity or engagement.


Data quality.


Delayed Service Discharge - the circumstance when an inpatient who has been judged clinically ready for discharge but who continues to occupy a bed beyond the discharge date - eg, whilst waiting for community care services or services for carers, etc. 

Early intervention service

Services offering prompt interventions to young people experiencing their first episode of psychiatric illness. Earlier interventions are associated with better outcomes.

Eating disorders

Eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Tend to have early onset in childhood or adolescence. Anorexia nervosa involves a distortion of body image - people carefully restrict intake of calories, and are markedly underweight. Bulimia nervosa involves episodic binges of over-eating, self-induced vomiting and can lead to severe physical complications.

Equal opportunity

Aims to ensure the workforce is representative of the local community.

Family/Systemic Therapy

Difficulties in relationships with your family, partners and friends can be bad for your mental health. If this is the case, a family or couple can be seen together. The therapy helps people to see both their strengths and limitations and to try different ways of getting on together. Family therapy can be helpful if the mental illness of a family member affects the rest of the family.


First Definitive Treatment - the first clinical intervention intended to manage a service user's disease, condition or injury and avoid further clinical interventions. 

Forensic Service

Specialist health services for offenders with mental health problems.

Foundation Trust

Based on mutual traditions, they are established as ‘public benefit corporations’ with new freedoms to innovate and forge partnerships in the public interest and governance arrangements designed to help trusts better reflect the needs of the communities they serve.

General Practitioner (GP)

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. Many GPs have a community psychiatric nurse, psychiatrist or counsellor who works at the GP surgery.

Grade 3-4 pressure ulcers

Classification of pressure ulcer severity as defined by the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and recommended for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 

Group therapy

Any form of psychotherapy can be done in a group. Some groups are very brief, focused and educational (such as parent training groups), while others are unstructured and may last for several years (such as group analytic therapy). All groups make use of the input from other group members as well as the group leader to help people understand and change their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Health and Social Care (HASC) Scrutiny Committees

Local Authority scrutiny committees made up of councillors and members – responsible for reviewing local services. Specifically health overview and scrutiny committee reviews performance of local health services.

Healthcare Associated Infections

These are infections that occur in a health care setting that were not present before the patient entered the care setting.

Healthcare professional

Generic identification of CPFT staff who are qualified to administer mental health or community health care services. 

Health of the Nation Outcome Score (HoNOS)

A way of measuring how well someone is doing in their treatment and recovery.

Health promotion

Giving people and communities the resources and information they need to make choices about their help and to make their environment safer.

Healthcare governance

How we make sure we carry out treatments safely and effectively and encourage a culture of excellence in our staff to continuously improve quality of care

Home treatment

Home treatment (sometimes called crisis resolution) is a way of helping people at home rather than in hospital. This can help to avoid the stress, anxiety and upheaval that can happen with a hospital admission. This can include daily or twice daily visits, and help with medication and sorting out practical matters such as accommodation and shopping.


Information, Communication and Technology.


Information Governance Toolkit - an online system that allows NHS organisations and partners to assess themselves against Department of Health information governance policies and standards. 

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme aims to improve access to talking therapies in the NHS by providing more local services and psychological therapists. IAPT services have now been set up across the NHS.

Improving Working Lives (IWL)

An NHS accolade recognising achievement of a set of national standards focusing on implementation of modern employment practices and providing staff with a flexible work/life balance.


The Integrated Compliance Assessment tool used by internal governance to record compliance records for the Trust. 

Integrated Compliance Assessment tool (InCA)

The Integrated Compliance Assessment tool (InCA) was introduced during the course of the year to support the assessment of our compliance position against the CQC outcomes and support the overall awareness-raising of essential standards across our wards and community teams. The tool encompasses all the requirements of the CQC standards along with the transformation tools and standards that were developed as part of our turnaround programme. 


The number of people who get a particular illness or suffer a particular disability.


Someone who stays in hospital to receive care and treatment.

Independent sector

Voluntary sector, charitable and private care providers.

Intermediate care

Care provided as an alternative to in-patient carer. Also allows patients to be safely discharged from hospital and complete their recovery at home or other suitable place.

Investor in People (IIP)

Recognition of commitment to training with objectives and personal development plans for all staff.

Learning disabilities

If someone has a learning disability, it means that they may find it more difficult to learn, understand and communicate. Learning disabilities are not a "mental illness", but can be caused by many illness or problems before or during birth, or that develop during childhood or as the result of an illness.

Learning Disability Partnerships (LDPs)

Responsible for commissioning and providing health and social care services for all adults with a learning disability. The LDP Boards in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire were set up in 2001. They bring together a range of partners, including people with a learning disability and their family carers, with a responsibility for implementing the programme of developments from the White Paper Valuing People.

Local Involvement Networks (LINks)

The aim of LINks is to give people an opportunity to communicate their views about how their health and social care services are delivered. LINks are created and run by local people to monitor local services.

Local Strategic Partnerships

A single body bringing together at local level the different parts of the public sector, private, business, community and voluntary sectors to support each other and work together to improve the economic, social and environmental well being of the local population.

Looked After Children (LAC)

Looked After Children 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.


Multi-Agency Public Protection (Panel) Arrangements

Medium-Secure Unit

Medium-Secure Units, also known as MSUs, provide hospital care for people with complex mental health problems who may have become involved in the criminal justice system.

Mental disorder

Mental Health Act 1983 definition: “mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder and any other disorder or disability of mind”.

Mental health

An individual’s ability to manage and cope with the stresses and challenges of life.

Mental Health Act 1983

Concerns the reception, care and treatment of mentally disordered persons, the management of their property and other related matters.

Mental Health Act Committee

This body ensures the compliance with the Mental Health Act 1983 throughout the Trust encompassing advice on policies and procedures.

Mental health organisations

Health and social care commissioners and providers of specialist mental health care, including independent sector providers.

Mental Health Minimum Data Set

The Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) contains record-level data about the care of adults and older people using secondary mental health services. 

Modern Matron

The Modern Matron role is a new nursing role that was announced in the NHS Plan. A Modern Matron is a skilled, clinically experienced nurse who is empowered to bring about improvements to the patient experience in inpatient settings. The Modern Matron role provides nursing and multi-disciplinary leadership to a ward or a small group of wards and will build on the strengths and good practice within inpatient nursing care. Modern Matrons will be visible, accessible and focused on improving the experience of service users.


Illness or disability


The independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - a type of bacterial infection that is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics. 

Multi-disciplinary team

A team of health and social care staff. It includes professionals such as nurses, doctors, social workers, psychologists and benefits workers. It can also include service users and non-professionals in certain jobs.

Named nurse

The nurse with special responsibility for you when you are in hospital. He/she will work closely with you and your consultant to design your care plan and review its progress. Also known as a primary nurse.

Neighbourhood Team

Neighbourhood teams (NTs) are the physical and mental health care hub of the local community for over 65-year-olds and adults requiring community services. They work closely with GPs, primary care, social care and the third and independent sector to provide joined-up responsive, expert care and treatment. Teams include integrated support workers, district nurses, mental health nurses, community matrons, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and administrative staff.

Never event

Never events are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented. 

NHS Trusts

Provide most NHS services, through annual agreements with Primary Care Trusts.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

NICE is responsible for promoting clinical excellence and cost-effectiveness and producing and issuing clinical guidelines to ensure that every NHS patient gets fair access to quality treatment.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council. A regulatory body that maintains a register of nurses, midwives and health visitors.

National Service Frameworks (NSFs)

Bring together the best clinical and cost-effective evidence to determine the best ways of providing particular services. They set national standards and define service models for a specific service or care group, support implementation of the standards and establish timescales for development.


National Vocational Qualifications

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental health condition that is usually associated with both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

The person who will work with you to develop your skills and confidence in everyday life - including work, social and leisure activities and personal care.

Overview and Scrutiny of the Health Service Committee

This local authority council covers the review and scrutiny of any matter relating to the planning, provision and operation of the health services in Cambridgeshire.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Complementary to existing services, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provides service users, their carers and families with help, information and support to resolve concerns quickly and efficiently. Every NHS organisation will have a PALS to support patients and the public.

Patient Environment Action Teams (PEAT)

These teams are part of a national programme to assess and improve cleanliness, safety, privacy and dignity of inpatient care areas within NHS services. All Trusts are assessed and scored by these teams as part of an annual programme. These scores form part of the performance framework for Trusts. Services that pass at a certain level can move on to environmental self-assessment.

Payment by Results (PbR)

Payment by Results (PbR) provides a transparent, rules-based system for paying trusts. It will reward efficiency, support patient choice and diversity and encourage activity for sustainable waiting time reductions. Payment will be linked to activity and adjusted for casemix. 

Personality disorder

Our 'personality' is the collection of ways that we think, feel and behave that makes us all individuals. Most of the time, our personality allows us to get on reasonably well with other people, but for some of us, this isn't true. If you have a personality disorder, parts of your personality make it hard for you to live with yourself and/or other people. You often feel unhappy or distressed and/or find that you upset or harm other people.


Personality Disorder Community Service


Someone who has expert knowledge of the use of medicines. They work closely with doctors and nurses and advise them on the safe and effective use of drugs. They are responsible for supplying medication and making sure it is available in the right form.


A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear, for example a fear of heights or animals. Phobias are estimated to affect 1 in 40 adults a year.


Performance indicator. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you have experienced a traumatic event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the days, weeks or months after the incident. Although such events can be very difficult to come to terms with, confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD.

Post-natal depression

The birth of a baby is an emotional experience and, for many new mothers, feeling tearful and depressed is also common. However, sometimes longer periods of depression, known as postnatal depression (PND), can occur during the first few weeks and months of the baby's life. PND can have a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, but it can be treated.

Primary care

Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry (eye health) services.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

A government-led programme to enable the private sector to become involved in the provision of facilities which will then be run by the NHS

Providers and providing

Hospital trusts, GPs, voluntary organisations and sometimes private institutions that provide the health according to contract with the Strategic Health Authority or Primary Care Trust

Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Psychiatric intensive care units provide mental health care and treatment for people whose acute distress, absconding risk and suicidal or challenging behaviour needs a secure environment beyond that which can normally be provided on an open psychiatric ward. 


A medical doctor with specialist experience and qualifications in mental illness and emotional disorders. He or she has overall responsibility for your care. This includes any medication you may take, and any activities you may be involved in whilst in hospital, or in the community.


Someone who has done a psychology degree, then further training in helping people with emotional or psychological problems. Psychologists can offer you therapy which involves talking about your difficulties and working together to overcome them. They are different from psychiatrists in that they are not medically trained and do not prescribe medication.

Psychological therapies

Talking therapies, including psychotherapy, counselling, family therapy and cognitive-behaviour therapy.


Disorders involving distorted perceptions of reality - thinking, feeling, hearing and seeing - often with symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.


Someone who has trained to carry out one or more of the psychotherapies. They can be from any professional background - or none. They should be registered with a professional psychotherapy organisation in the UK.

Psychotropic drugs

Medication used in the treatment of mental disorder.


Research and Development


Patient referrals provided to CPFT from an external source - eg, doctors' surgery, another Trust or hospital, police, army or other medical service agency. 

Regional Secure Units (RSUs)

Medium-secure units for people who are thought to pose special risks, particularly violence to others.

Risk management

Risk management places special emphasis on identifying circumstances which put users, carers and staff at risk of harm and then acting to prevent or control those risks. This helps us to improve the quality of care we provide.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Systematic process to analyse the causes of incidents, learn from them and where possible reduce the risk of recurrence.


Referral to treatment. Time taken for a patient to be referred to an appropriate CPFT service.


Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms including hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that do not exist) and delusions (believing in things that are untrue).

Schedule 5

Coroners and Justice Act 2009 - coroner powers.  

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. It is characterised by recurrent episodes of depression at the same time each year.

Secondary care

Health care provided in hospital setting.

Self harm

Self harm is when somebody damages or injures their body on purpose. NICE describes it as 'self-poisoning, or injury, irrespective of the apparent purpose of the act'.

Serious incident (SI)

A serious incident is defined by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) as an incident that occurred in relation to NHS-funded services and care resulting in one of the following: unexpected or avoidable death of one or more patients, staff, visitors or members of the public; serious harm to one or more patients, staff, visitors or members of the public; a scenario that prevents or threatens to prevent the Trust's ability to continue to deliver healthcare services; allegations of abuse; adverse media coverage or public concern about the Trust or the wider NHS.

Service user/s

People who need health and social care for their mental health problems. They may live in their own home, stay in care, or be cared for in hospital.

Seven-day follow up

Follow up (by phone or face-to-face contact) within seven days of discharge from psychiatric inpatient care to help reduce subsequent risk and social exclusion. 


Situation Report compiled to describe the detail surrounding a situation, event, or incident. 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder (also know as social phobia). If you have a social phobia, the thought of being seen in public or appearing at social events can make you feel very anxious and frightened.

Social care

Personal care for vulnerable people, including people with special needs which stem from their age, physical or mental disability and children who need care and protection.

Social care package

A combination of services put together to meet a person's needs as part of a care plan arising from an assessment or review. 

Social worker

A professional who can help you with practical aspects of life, and who will often also have had training in psychological help. They work closely together with other organisations that are also able to provide you with help.

Speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. They work with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors.

Spend agency

Agency ascribed to the role to monitor and/or control spending. 


All parties within and interest in the organisation, services, etc.

Supervised discharge

Under the 1995 Mental Health (Patients in the Community) Act consultant psychiatrists may apply for powers of supervision of service users following discharge from hospital. A ‘supervisor’ (care co-ordinator) has the power to ‘take and convey’ the service user to a place of treatment, but not to treat them.

Support Time Recovery (STR) workers

Staff within community teams who have dedicated time to support service users to access resources in the community and thus promote their independence.

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP)

STPs are partnerships between the NHS and local councils in 44 areas covering all of England to improve health and care. Each area has developed proposals built around the needs of the whole population in the area, not just those of individual organisations. You can view the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough STP here.

Talking therapy / treatment

A general term for treatments which involve talking in individual or group sessions with a trained mental health professional.

Teaching Trust

Strengthens the Trust’s links with higher education institutions. Trust receives extra funding to support the teaching of psychological medicine to doctors from the Cambridge University School. The Teaching ethos influences all staff groups and education programmes.

Tertiary care

Specialist care, usually for less common illnesses.


Internal referral - transfer of a patient from one CPFT service to another CPFT service.  

‘Two ticks’

An award recognising employers’ innovative work on disability and implementing the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Voluntary Sector

See Independent Sector above

Ward manager

The senior nurse in charge of running a hospital ward.


Waiting times endured by a patient for a service to be provided or allocated. 

White Paper

Government document which outlines the way policy and services will operate in the future.


Whole-time equivalent - measure of NHS staff resourcing or allocation 

The page was last updated on 26 November 2019 by andrea.bateman.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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