Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

CCG’s were clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. From July 2022 they were dissolved and their duties taken on by the new integrated care systems (ICSs).


The term co-production refers to a way of working where everyone works together on an equal basis to reach a collective outcome.


The process by which the needs of the local population are identified, priorities set and appropriate services purchased and evaluated.

Creative Practitioner

An inclusive term for someone working in the arts and cultural sector who often also has an experimental, open and collaborative approach.   The term encompasses practitioners from different creative and cultural disciplines (from fine art, dance, music, to radio, architecture etc) who use creativity, arts and cultural practices in their work.

Integrated Care Board

The statutory NHS organisation responsible for developing a plan in collaboration with NHS trusts/foundation trusts and other system partners for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services in the defined area.

Integrated Care System (ICS or ‘System’)

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

42 geographic ICSs were established across England on a statutory basis on 1 July 2022.   A ‘system’ has a population of approximately 1 million to 3 million people.  Within an ICS decisions are made at three geographic levels.  At system level the whole area’s health and care partners in different sectors come together to set strategic direction and to develop economies of scale.

Decisions are also made at ‘place’ level (population c.250,000 – 500,000) and ‘neighbourhood’ level (population c.30,000-50,000).  See descriptions below.


A term used when talking about how health and care services are planned and managed, a ‘neighbourhood’ is an area with a population of approximately 30,000 – 50,000 people that is the third and smallest geographic level of an integrated care system.  A neighbourhood is served by groups of GP practice working with NHS community services, social care and other providers to deliver more coordinated and proactive services, including through primary care networks. 


When talking about ICS structures the term 'place' is used to refer to the geographical level below an Integrated Care System at which most of the work to join up budgets, planning and service delivery for routine health and care services (particularly community-based services) will happen.  Places have a population of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 people and they are served by a set of health and care providers in a town or district, connecting primary care networks to broader services including those provided by local councils, community hospitals or voluntary organisations. 

Primary Care Networks (PCN)

Networks of GP practices work that together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in local areas, that typically serve communities of 30,000 – 50,000 people. 

Social Enterprise

A non-profit business that is set up to improve a community in some way.  Any profits the business makes go back into improving the community.

Social Prescribing Link Worker

Social Prescribing is the practice where health and primary care professional refer their patients to alternative, non-clinical services.  Social Prescribing is often carried out by a Link Worker.

Socially Engaged Art Practice

Socially engaged practice, also referred to as social practice or socially engaged art, describes art that is collaborative, often participatory, and involves people as the medium or material of the work.


An organisation that exists to help other people and communities, and operates as a voluntary organisation, charity or social enterprise. It does not make a profit. The letters stand for ‘voluntary, community and social enterprise’. Terms such as VSC, The Third Sector, or Civil Society are also used. 


A health professional who is directly involved in the care and treatment of patients, for example, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists.


A person or organisation that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in the area the organisation covers and ensures that services are available.

Creative Health

‘Creative Health’ is defined as creative approaches and activities which have benefits for our health and wellbeing. Activities may include visual and performing arts, crafts, film, literature as well as creative activities in nature; approaches may involve creative and innovative ways to approach health and care services, co-production, education and workforce development. Creative health can contribute to prevention of ill-health; promotion of healthy behaviours; management of long-term conditions; treatment and recovery across the life course.

Health Inequalities

Health inequalities are unfair and avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. Health inequalities arise because of the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age.

These conditions influence our opportunities for good health, and how we think, feel and act, and this shapes our mental health, physical health and wellbeing.

Integrated Care Partnership

Statutory committees that bring together a broad set of system partners (including local government, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE), NHS organisations and others) to develop a health and care strategy for the area.

National Portfolio Organisation

An NPO organisation enters a four-year funding agreement with Arts Council England based on a business plan submitted on application for investment. NPO’s are considered leaders in their areas, with a collective responsibility to protect and develop our national arts and cultural ecology.  The funded work of NPOs is expected to meet the Arts Council goals and align with Arts Council priorities. 

Personalisation/Person Centred

An approach that puts the person receiving care and support at the centre of the way care is planned and delivered.  It is based around the preferences, needs and priorities of the person receiving care and support, treating them as an equal partner, and puts into practice the principle of 'no decision about me without me'.


Placemaking is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play, and learn in.  It is a term often used in public planning and redevelopment to refer to design of public spaces.  Creative placemaking however integrates arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities. 

Public Art

Visual art and craft located in a public space. It is in the public realm, regardless of whether it is situated on public or private property, or whether it is acquired through public or private funding.

Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing is the practice where health and primary care professional refer their patients to alternative, non-clinical services.  Social Prescribing is often carried out by a Link Worker.

Social Value

Social value is defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act (2013) which requires all public sector organisations and their suppliers to look beyond the financial cost of a contract to consider how the services they commission and procure can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of an area.

Theory of Change

A comprehensive description and illustration of how desired change is expected to happen.  A Theory of Change often starts by first identifying the desired long-term goals and works backwards to what input activities or conditions could meet those goals and under what circumstances.   

Wicked Issues

Wicked issues or wicked problems are described as social or cultural problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of their complex and interconnected nature.

If the terms you are looking for aren’t included in the glossary above, try following the link to: Think Local Act Personal Jargon Buster.  The Jargon Buster is a directory of Plain English definitions of commonly used words and phrases in health and social care.   If you’re looking for Arts and Culture sector terms and definitions try the resource created and published by Libraries Connected.