Acronym buster

The NHS is full of acronyms and while we will always try to spell out any acronyms we use on the website, we thought this page maybe helpful to you in other situations.

This glossary is an ongoing project so if you have any acronyms that you would like to add then please then suggest them on the feedback form at the bottom of this page. We will include all those that are suitable on our website.

AAR After Action Review
ADLs Activities of Daily Living
AfC Agenda for Change
AHP Allied Health Professional
AHSC    Academic Health Science Centre
AHSN Academic Health Science Network
AMHP   Approved Mental Health Professional
AMR Antimicrobial resistance
ASD Autisitic Spectrum Disorder

BAF       Board Assurance Framework
BME Black and minority ethnic
BPS British Psychological Society
BNF British National Formulary
Body mass index

CAMHS Child and adolescent mental health services
Carenotes  C&I Electronic Patient Record System
CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CCG  Clinical Commissioning Group(s)
CCT Community care team
CMD Common mental disorder
CMHT Community Mental Health Team
COG Council of Governors
COO Chief Operating Officer
COPD  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
CPA Care Programme Approach
CPD  Continuing professional development
CPMH Chartered Physiotherapists in Mental Health
CPN Community psychiatric nurse
CQC   Care Quality Commission
CQUIN  Commissioning for quality and innovation
CRB Criminal Records Bureau
CRIS Clinical Record Interactive Search
CSP  Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
CST Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (a group treatment for people with dementia)
CSU    Commissioning support unit
Community psychiatric nurse

DBS Disclosure and barring service
DH    Department of Health
DNA   Did not attend
DNR Do not resuscitate
DOLS Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
DPA Data Protection Act


ECT     Electro Convulsive Therapy (used to treat very severe depression)
EIP   Early intervention in psychosis
EIS Early Intervention Service
EPR   Electronic Patient Record – please see RiO & Carenotes
EPS Electronic prescription service
ESR Electronic staff record
ECG Electrocardiogram

Executive Performance Group


FFT   Friends and Family Test
FGM  Female genital mutilation
FOI  Freedom of Information (FOI) Act
FT     Foundation Trust
FY   Foundation year 1 / 2 etc for doctors

GMC General Medical Council

HAZMAT   Hazardous materials
HCSW Health care support worker
HFMA   Healthcare Financial Management Association
HIA  Health Impact Assessment
HONOS This is the tool used to allocate patients to a care cluster
HSJ    Health Service Journal
HWE Healthwatch England
HTT Home Treatment Team

IAPT Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
ICP Integrated care pilot
ICT     Information and communications technology
IG      Information governance

KPI  Key performance indicator

LA Local Authority
LAA Local area agreement
L&D   Learning and Development
LD Learning Disability (service)

MDA Medical device alert
MDT   Multi-disciplinary team
MHA Mental Health Act
MHLDDS  Mental Health and Learning Disability Data Set

Mental health review tribunal

MOJ Ministry of Justice
MWIA    Mental well-being impact assessment

NHSE NHS England
NHSI NHS Improvement
NHSIQ   NHS Improving Quality
NHSLA NHS Litigation Authority
NHSP NHS Professionals (an agency providing staff for the NHS)
NICE The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
NIHR National Institute for Health Research
NPSA   National Patient Safety Agency
NHS National Health Service
NED Non-Executive Director

OT Occupational Therapist
OPMH Older Peoples Mental Health
OD  Organisational Development

PBC  Practice-based commissioning
PHB Personal Health Budget
PICU     Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit
PID  Project initiation document
PIP  Personal independence payment
PHSO Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PRB  Pay review body
PSS Psychiatrists' Support Service
PALS Patient Advice and Liaison Service
PHE Public Health England
PLACE Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment

QA  Quality assurance
QIA Quality impact assessment
QIPP Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention 
QOF   Quality and outcomes framework
QI Quality Improvement

RCN    Royal College of Nursing
RCPSYCH Royal College of Psychiatrists
RiO The electronic patient record system
RN Registered nurse
RCP Royal College of Physicians

SI    Serious incident  
SMI Serious mental illness  
STP Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships  
SAR Subject Access Request  


ToR Terms of Reference


WTE Whole Time Equivalent
WHO World Health Organization


YTD Year to Date



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