What are Community Health Services What are Community Health Services?

What are Community Health Services?

Settings, Service and Support

Care Learning

4 mins READ

Community health services play a critical role in the healthcare system. They offer support and healthcare to people within their own homes or in community settings.

These services aim to treat, manage, and prevent illness by delivering care that is as close to home as possible.

Purpose of Community Health Services

Community health services exist to meet a vast array of health needs.

These services are designed to:

  • Support people with long-term conditions: They help individuals manage chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles: They offer advice and support to encourage healthier living.
  • Provide coordinated care: They work alongside hospitals, GPs, and social care to ensure a seamless care experience.
  • Offer urgent care: They provide immediate care for minor injuries or illnesses.
  • End-of-life support: They give compassionate care to those at the end of their lives, often enabling them to stay at home.

Types of Community Health Services

Nursing Services

Community nurses visit patients at home to provide a range of services:

  • Wound care: Treating and dressing wounds.
  • Medication administration: Assisting with medications.
  • Chronic disease management: Helping manage long-term conditions such as heart disease.

Therapy Services

Therapists support people in their recovery and rehabilitation. Types of therapy services include:

  • Physiotherapy: Helps with mobility and physical functioning.
  • Occupational therapy: Aids with activities of daily living.
  • Speech and language therapy: Assists with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Health Visiting

Health visitors focus on families with young children. They provide:

  • Health and development checks for infants.
  • Parenting advice and support.

School Nursing

School nurses promote health within school settings. They provide:

  • Health education.
  • Immunisations.
  • Support with mental health and wellbeing.

Palliative Care

For those with terminal illnesses, palliative care aims to improve quality of life. Services include:

  • Pain management.
  • Emotional support.
  • End-of-life planning.

How Community Health Services are Delivered

Home Visits

Healthcare workers visit patients in their homes to provide care and support. This is particularly helpful for people with mobility issues or those who prefer being treated at home.

Community Clinics

Patients can visit local clinics to receive treatment. These clinics are often more accessible than hospitals and are embedded within the community.


Telehealth allows patients to get care through video calls or phone calls. This method is convenient and reduces the need for travel.

Benefits of Community Health Services

Personalised Care

Services are tailored to the needs of the individual. Personalised care plans mean better management of conditions and improved outcomes.

Reduced Hospital Admissions

By providing care in the community, there is less need for hospital stays. This is beneficial for patients, who can recover in familiar surroundings, and also eases the burden on hospitals.

Continuity of Care

Community health services offer ongoing support, ensuring that patients receive continuous care rather than the fragmented service they may experience in hospitals.

Challenges and Limitations

Resource Constraints

Limited funding and resources can impact the quality and availability of services. Workforce shortages can also affect the ability to deliver care.

Access Issues

Not everyone can easily access community health services. Rural areas may have fewer services, and some individuals may find it difficult to get the support they need.

How to Access Community Health Services


GPs, hospital doctors, or other healthcare professionals usually make referrals for community health services.


For some services, such as sexual health clinics or drug and alcohol services, individuals can refer themselves directly.

Policy and Funding

Government policy and NHS funding directly influence community health services. Priorities set by NHS England and local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) determine which services are available and how they are delivered.

What is the Future of Community Health Services?

Integration with Technology

The future will likely see more use of technology in community health services. Innovations like telehealth and remote monitoring can enhance care delivery.

Focus on Prevention

There is an increasing emphasis on preventing illness rather than just treating it. Community health services will likely play a bigger role in promoting healthy lifestyles and early intervention.

Collaborative Approach

Greater collaboration between health and social care sectors can improve service delivery and patient outcomes. Integrated care systems are increasingly being developed to ensure seamless care across different services.


Community health services are a vital part of the healthcare system, providing accessible, personalised, and continuous care. They offer significant benefits, including reduced hospital admissions and improved management of chronic conditions. However, they also face challenges such as resource constraints and access issues.

By focusing on innovation and integration, the future of community health services looks promising, paving the way for better health outcomes and enhanced patient care.

Community Health Services PDF Resources

Community Health Services: A Way of Life | NHS Providers (PDF)

    • This document details the extensive range of NHS services provided by community trusts, including promoting good health and delivering complex healthcare at home.

    A Guide to Community-Centred Approaches for Health and Wellbeing | Public Health England (PDF)

      • This guide from Public Health England provides comprehensive information on community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing.

      Community Services Strategic Framework 2021 | Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (PDF)

        • This strategic framework outlines the community services shaped by the NHS long-term plan and local plans, including the Joint Health Strategy.

        Engaging Communities for Health Improvement | The Health Foundation (PDF)

          • This document discusses strategies for engaging communities to improve health outcomes, authored by an independent charity dedicated to enhancing healthcare quality in the UK.

          Community Empowerment for Improving Health Services | GOV.UK (PDF)

            • This evidence-based report explores how community empowerment has been successfully integrated into health service improvements in various countries, including the UK.

            The UK Health Care System (PDF)

              • This document provides an overview of the UK healthcare system, including public healthcare provisions and the National Health Service (NHS).

              Community Health Workers: The Eyes and Ears for Primary Care (PDF)

                • This leaflet discusses the role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in providing a consistent flow of information and support between primary care teams and the community.

                Care in Local Communities: A New Vision and Model for District Nursing (PDF)

                  • This resource outlines a new vision and model for district nursing, aimed at those designing and providing local community health services.

                  Communities – C3 Collaborating for Health (PDF)

                    • This briefing paper discusses community health initiatives and collaborations aimed at improving public health outcomes.

                    Community Health Services Explained | NHS England (PDF)

                      • This NHS resource paper focuses on multidisciplinary teams and their role in delivering comprehensive community health services.

                      How useful was this post?

                      Click on a star to rate it!

                      As you found this post useful...

                      Follow us on social media!

                      We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

                      Let us improve this post!

                      Tell us how we can improve this post?

                      You cannot copy content of this page