NHS England has published this snapshot overview of the current NHS structure in a succinct and practical resource for everyone who works and trains in the NHS. Written by five doctors in training, it is particularly relevant to trainees to provide a context for their academic and clinical practice.

The guide recognises the complexity of the systems and processes that sit behind the interactions with patients and their families – whether purchasing, planning, financing or regulatory activity, and presents these underpinning structures in a way that is easily comprehensible. It provides an overview of the principles and priorities which are the current drivers to framing health and social care policy.

The NHS faces multiple challenges to deliver quality care whilst resources come under increasing pressure. The role of trainee clinical professionals in finding solutions to these challenges is emphasised, but also the necessity of understanding the system in which healthcare is delivered in order to know how to go about successfully making changes. The guide aims to empower trainees to comprehend the broader picture of the healthcare system from an early stage of their careers; to give them the confidence to challenge the existing system, identify improvements and make change happen.

Understanding the new NHS – A guide for everyone working and training within the NHS