FOI

Freedom of Information Act:
About Us

The RUH and other NHS Services

Hospital Trusts are found in most large towns and cities, and usually offer a general range of services to meet most people's needs.

Some Trusts also act as regional or national centres of expertise for more specialised care, while some are attached to universities and help to train health professionals.

Trusts can also provide services in the community – for example through health centres, clinics or in people's homes.

Except in the case of emergencies, hospital treatment is arranged through your GP. This is called a referral.

Appointments and treatment are free.

NHS Trusts employ the majority of the NHS workforce including nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, midwives, health visitors and staff from the professions allied to medicine, such as physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, speech and language therapists, counsellors, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Other staff employed include receptionists, porters, cleaners, IT specialists, managers, engineers, caterers, domestic and security staff.

The Royal United Hospital is an acute NHS Trust providing treatment and care for a catchment population of 500, 000 people in Bath and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire.

Its services include medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services and diagnostic and clinical support services.

Other services provided by the NHS include:

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NHS Ambulance Service Trusts

Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom, to provide immediate care to people with acute illness or injury, are predominantly provided through a system of regional government ambulance services, funded by the National Health Service.

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NHS Walk-in Centres

NHS walk-in centres offer fast access to health advice and treatment.

They are open and available to anyone and provide:

  • A seven days a week service, from early in the morning until late in the evening
  • Assessment by an experienced NHS nurse
  • Treatment for minor injuries and illnesses
  • Instant access to health advice and information on other local services
  • Advice on how to stay healthy
  • Information on local out-of-hours GP and dental services
  • Information on local pharmacy services

Locally, walk-in centres are located in Bath, Bristol and Swindon. The address for the Bath Centre is:

Bath NHS Walk-in Centre
Riverside Health Centre
James Street West
BATH
BA1 2BT

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Dentists

These are specialist health professionals who provide the necessary care and treatment to maintain your oral health.

There are some 22, 000 dentists working in general dental services in the UK.

NHS patients are offered continuing care and emergency treatment.

Dental treatment is free to children under 18, pregnant women, students under 19, other vulnerable groups and those on income support.

The cost of NHS dental treatment is set by the Government and you pay the same whichever dental practice you choose to go to.

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Optometrists/Opticians

These are specialist health professionals who test eyes and prescribe lenses to correct sight problems. They are more commonly known as opticians.

A dispensing optician fits and sells glasses but does not test eyes.

An ophthalmic optician specialises in making glasses and in testing eyes and prescribing lenses.

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Pharmacists

These are specialist health professionals who make and sell medicines. They usually have a shop in the high street, and are often called 'chemists'.

They are experts on medicines and the way they work and will make up prescriptions issued by your doctor.

They can give advice on treatments that can be bought over-the-counter.

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Primary Care

The first port of call for many people when they develop a health problem is their local doctor, also known as a general practitioner (GP).

These doctors usually form a small practice or surgery to serve a particular neighbourhood.

GPs are on the frontline of the NHS – the part officially called 'primary care'.

Many other health professionals work as part of this frontline team – nurses, health visitors, dentists, opticians, pharmacists and a range of specialist therapists.

Every UK citizen has a right to be registered with a local GP and visits to the surgery are free.

NHS Direct and NHS walk-in centres are also part of primary care.

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Secondary Care

Specialised treatment usually provided by a hospital following a referral from one of the primary care services as outlined under the previous heading.

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Special Health Authorities

A health authority that provides health services to the whole population of England not just to a local community, i.e. the National Blood Authority.

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