How finance works in the NHS

Intermediate certificate - core module
20 credits, total study time: 200 hours (18 weeks)

In a rapidly changing NHS, this module gives the context for understanding healthcare business and finance. This is key to recognising how finances and financial pressures can affect patients. The NHS is looking to do things differently – in particular, this means working very closely with social care, and other parts of the healthcare system - finding new ways of delivering care that puts the patient at the centre.

Topics covered
  • How healthcare is financed – classification and funding
  • The NHS in England
  • Commissioning healthcare
  • Providing NHS services
  • How NHS services are paid for
  • Primary care
  • Revenue and capital
  • Local government
  • Integration
  • The devolved nations

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the ways that healthcare in the UK is structured and funded
  • Compare and contrast the health systems that operate in each of the home nations
  • Describe the approach taken by the NHS to revenue and capital monies
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of funding flows within a local health economy
  • Explain how finance works within the NHS in the UK and identify areas where this might be improved


  • 3,000 word portfolio-based, work-related assessment

Healthcare costing for adding value 
Optional module


Governance and risk management in the NHS 
Optional module


Management skills 
Optional module


Tools for transforming services in the NHS 
Optional module