About us

What we do

The Department of Health (DH) helps people to live better for longer. We lead, shape and fund health and care in England, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.

Our responsibilities

  • we lead across health and care by creating national policies and legislation, providing the long-term vision and ambition to meet current and future challenges, putting health and care at the heart of government and being a global leader in health and care policy

  • we support the integrity of the system by providing funding, assuring the delivery and continuity of services and accounting to Parliament in a way that represents the best interests of the patient, public and taxpayer.

  • we champion innovation and improvement by supporting research and technology, promoting honesty, openness and transparency, and instilling a culture that values compassion, dignity and the highest quality of care above everything

  • above all, DH encourages staff in every health and care organisation, including our own, to understand and learn from people’s experience of health and care and to apply this to everything we do

Our priorities

Our priorities for 2014 to 2015 are:

Living and ageing well: helping people live healthier lives, making this country the best place in the world in which to grow old

Our priorities are preventing disease and poor health, improving care for people over 75, reforming social care, integrating health and care, and improving care for people with dementia

Caring better: raising standards in health and care, ensuring everyone is treated with compassion and respect

Our priorities are improving the quality of care and the use of technology, encouraging greater openness and taking significant steps towards parity of esteem between mental and physical health

Preparing for the future: making the right decisions today so that the health and care system can meet the needs of people in the future

Our priorities are ensuring the long-term sustainability of the system by maintaining quality, access and financial performance, working more efficiently and investing in research and innovation

Who we are

DH is a ministerial department, supported by 23 agencies and public bodies. The department employs 2,160 staff who work in locations across the country.

Partner organisations and agencies including contact information

Find out more about the department’s partner organisations and agencies, also known as arm’s length bodies.

This page includes contact information and a list of members of the executive boards.

Corporate information

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information.

Corporate reports