Glossary P - T








A term applied to treatment that eases the symptoms of a disorder rather than curing the condition.


The comprehensive care of patients and families facing terminal illness, focusing primarily on comfort and support, eg careful control of symptoms, especially pain; psychological and spiritual care.


Black’s Medical Dictionary, 42nd Edition. 2010


Primary Care Trusts are voluntary, free-standing, legally established bodies, able to act as both commissioners and providers of services.  They play a key role in developing fast, modern and convenient health services for patients.


PCTs are able to:


·         provide more use of convenient day surgery in health centres; provide walk-in health centres on the high street;

·         offer seamless health care, with treatment, advice, physiotherapy and chiropody on the same site;

·         develop wider health partnerships with GPs teaming up with dentists, opticians and pharmacists, providing an integrated health package; provide top-quality health checks and advice sessions; shape hospital and community services for patients in their area; investing in improving primary and community services;

·         identifying where services most need developing by giving patients better access to health care;

·         bring decision-making closer to patients.


Private Finance Initiative.  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.

Personal Medical Services (PMS)

A locally, rather than nationally, agreed contract which allows for new models of primary care services provision, including salaried GPs and collaborative management arrangements between practices and with other professions.


The extent to which a disease or condition is to be found in a population.  For example we might say that x% of the population is diabetic at any point in time.  Prevalence is a function of how many people contract a disease, and how long the condition lasts.

Primary care

Care provided by GPs, and the team who work with them in their surgeries and health centres, and by dentists, pharmacists and opticians.  The team most closely linked with the work of the GP includes health visitors, midwives, district nurses, and mental health nurses who are employed by a community NHS trust.  Practice nurses are employed by GPs.

Public Health

The science and art of promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society.


Projecting Adult Needs and Services Information System – a Department of Health system to help commissioners plan for services.


Pregnancy associated plasma protein.


Programme Based Budgeting – In 2002, the Department initiated the National Programme Budget Project. The aim of the project is to develop a source of information, which can be used by all bodies, to give a greater understanding of where the money is going and what we are getting for the money we invest in the NHS.


Programme Based Categories


Primary Care Trust


Primary Care Trust Dental Services


Problematic Drug Users.


Public Health England.




Pseudomembranous Colitis


Projection Older People Population Information System – a Department of Health system to help commissioners plan for services.

Population Estimate

Based on last available Census data, births, deaths and net migration estimates are created for each administrative area.




Population estimates are forecasted in to the future based on what we know about birth and death rates and trends in migration.

Premature Mortality

Any death under the age of 75 years.


The extent to which a disease or condition is to be found in a population. Prevalence is a function of how many people contract a disease, and how long the condition lasts.

Primary care

Health care provided in the community (not at hospital) including GP practices.

Prison Health Care

Delivery Plan


Joint guidance between the Department of Health and HM Prison Service to achieve the mainstreaming and integration of prison health within the NHS and the Prison Service by April 2006.


Private Rented Sector.


Prison Reform Trust.


Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty

Public Health Outcomes Framework

The Public Health Outcomes Framework sets out how we will measure success in Public health both National and locally.


Pupil Level Annual

School Census


The Census is the Department's largest and most complex data collection exercise. The Census collects information from every school in England under Section 29 of the Education Act 1996 and Section 42 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act. The provision by schools of individual pupil records is a statutory requirement under Section 537A of the Education act 1996. Local Authorities, other government departments, external agencies and educational researchers all use this information.


The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme is a national Department of Health strategy involving all NHS staff, patients, clinicians and the voluntary sector.  It aims to improve the quality and delivery of NHS care while reducing costs to make £20bn efficiency savings by 2014/15.  These savings will be reinvested to support the front line.


The Quality Management and Analysis System, known as QMAS, is a national IT system which gives GP practices and Primary Care Trusts objective evidence and feedback on the quality of care delivered to patients.


The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is the annual reward and incentive programme detailing GP practice achievement results.

Red Book

The conditions under which GPs are paid.

Secondary care

Care provided by hospitals.


Referrals, Assessments, Packages of care and Carers


Royal College of General Practitioners.




The registered population is the population that the PCT are responsible for to provide health care. Everyone registered with a GP practice are included in the registered population count.

Registered Social



Shared ownership property is a home that has been built, usually by a Registered Social Landlord (a housing association) specifically to sell on a shared ownership basis.

Resident population

The resident population is the population physically living within a given area.

Registered &

resident population


In some cases we use the population that are both registered with a GP practice within the PCT and those who live within the City of Peterborough.


Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from negative events, influences and set-backs. The latter could include physical and economic crises, creeping and sudden crises, deliberate psychological or physical

attacks, subversive influences, accidents, major incidents or hardship.

SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment)

This provides details on the local housing market, the need for new housing and the need for affordable housing. The Cambridge sub-regional assessment covers Cambridgeshire, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury


SpR in PH Medicine

Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine - trainee specialising in Public Health Medicine.

Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR)

SMRs allow comparison of populations with different age and sex structures.  Calculation of SMRs involves applying national age-specific deaths rates to the local population in order to calculate a ratio of expected to observed deaths.  This figure is then multiplied by 100.  The comparative national figure will conventionally be 100 - a local figure of 105, therefore, indicates an increased incidence or risk of 5%, a local figure of 95 indicates a risk 5% lower.  SMRs are indirectly age-standardised so the SMR itself can only be compared with the population it is standardised to, ie in our case England and Wales (SMR=100), and individual SMRs cannot be compared to one another.

Standardised Registration Ratio (SRR)

SRRs allow comparison of populations with different age and sex structures.  Expected registrations are calculated by applying the age-specific rates for England & Wales to the corresponding age-specific resident populations of each area.  The SRR is thus the ratio of observed to expected registrations in an area, multiplied by 100.  As with SMRs the comparative national figure will be 100 and SRRs are indirectly age-standardised.


Sickle Cell Disorders.


Single delivery plan.


Strategic Environment Assessment

Secondary care

Health care provided in a hospital setting at a general hospital rather than a specialist hospital (when it is known as tertiary care).


Strategic Health Authority


Strategic Housing Market Assessment.


Sustainable Healthcare Partnership.


Single homeless and rough sleepers


Super Output Area


Supported Residents Return


The term 'special educational needs' (SEN) has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.


Sexually Transmitted Infection


Service Users Giving Advice.

Synthetic Estimates

for Lifestyle Factors


The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) was commissioned by the Department of Health/Health and Social Care Information Centre, to produce model-based estimates and confidence intervals for a range of

healthy lifestyle variables at ward level. The outcome measure for the estimates were generated from data collected in the Health Survey for England (HSfE). They are available for smoking, binge drinking, obesity

and consumption of 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables.

Systolic blood



Blood pressure (strictly speaking: vascular pressure) refers to the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. The systolic arterial pressure is defined as the peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle.

Tertiary care

Care provided by specialist hospitals (such as Papworth) or departments (eg cancer centres) for patients referred from district hospitals.


Technology Appraisal Guidance – these are produced by NICE.




Tobacco Control National Support Team.


Act or right of holding property, or the conditions in which something is held.

Tertiary Care

Health Services provided in a specialist hospital/ unit.


Transient Ischaemic Attack – causes symptoms similar to a stroke – but symptoms last less than 24 hours. The most common cause is due to a tiny blood clot.


Termination of Pregnancy

Total Period Fertility



The average number of live births that would occur per woman resident in an area if women experienced that area’s current age-specific fertility rates throughout their childbearing life span.


Three Wheeled Motor Vehicles.