Online course in Politics & the Modern World

The NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works

Get a detailed understanding of the NHS - its inner workings, current and future challenges, and how it all fits together.

The NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $59 Find out more

Learn how healthcare is delivered in the NHS

The National Health Service (NHS) is a source of British national pride placed above the BBC, the British Olympic team, and the Royal Family. It affects the lives of millions of people.

But have you ever wondered how many people it takes to keep a nation healthy? Or how much money it costs to run the NHS? Or why hospital waiting times are always in the headlines?

This course will help you understand what keeps the fifth largest employer in the world running. You’ll explore the challenges facing the system, and how to ensure the NHS is fit for the future.

What topics will you cover?

  • How the NHS in England is structured
  • How different services work together to deliver health care in the NHS
  • How funding flows through the system
  • How well the NHS is doing
  • How performance is measured in the NHS
  • Future challenges facing the NHS and how the system is changing in response to this

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 3 June 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Demonstrate a wide understanding of how the constituent parts of the NHS in England work together to deliver health and care services
  • Summarise the various ways in which the NHS measures how well it is performing
  • Discuss the future challenges facing the NHS and the way in which the system is adapting to meet these challenges
  • Explore the resources required needed to keep the nation healthy

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in the NHS in England and how it works. This includes NHS and social care staff in England (working in both clinical and non-clinical roles), students considering a career in the NHS, and patients and the public.

Who will you learn with?

Hong-Anh Nguyen

I'm a librarian at The King's Fund and alongside managing the library and public enquiry service, I also lead on our service that helps to keep people up to date on health policy in England.

Ian Ford

I create, commission and edit digital content for The King's Fund. I help to manage our online presence and find different ways to share our messages with others.

Ruth Robertson

I am a senior fellow in the policy team at The King's Fund, where I lead research projects on various aspects of health system reform.

Deborah Ward

I’m a senior analyst in the policy team at the King’s Fund where I contribute to a range of research projects as well as providing regular analysis of data about the performance of the NHS.

Who developed the course?

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. Its vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

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  • Access to this course for 6 weeks

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$59

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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible
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Unlimited (New!)
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  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: