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 2013 to 2014 are:

  • preventing people from dying prematurely by improving mortality rates for the big killer diseases, to be amongst the best in Europe, through improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment

  • improving the standard of care throughout the system so that quality of care is considered as important as quality of treatment, through greater accountability, better training, tougher inspections and more attention paid to what patients say

  • improving treatment and care of people with dementia, to be among the best in Europe through early diagnosis, better research and better support

  • bringing the technology revolution to the NHS to help people, especially those with long term conditions, manage their health and care

Who we are

DH is a ministerial department, supported by 24 agencies and public bodies. The department employs 2,160 staff who work in locations across the country.

Corporate information

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Corporate reports

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