Health and Social Care is the title of the integrated group of services in Northern Ireland covering all aspects of the promotion and improvement of health and well being and the full range of health and personal social services.

It is the role of the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) to deploy and manage the annual funding from the Northern Ireland Executive - currently £4 billion - to ensure that all services are safe and sustainable.

Over 73,000 people are employed across a broad range of services within HSC, many of which need to be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Everyone makes use of HSC services at some point in their lives - from highly complex surgery to basic social care at home. The extent of the work of HSC includes some 1.5 million outpatient attendances per annum, some 519,000 inpatient or day case admissions and over 709,000 treatments across Accident and Emergency departments. Within Northern Ireland on a typical day:

  • 28,000 people see a family doctor or practice nurse;
  • 20,000 people visit a community pharmacy where around 84,186 prescription items are dispensed;
  • 2,800 new courses of dental treatment are started;
  • 2,400 children are looked after in some form of social care;
  • 12,000 people receive a nursing home or residential care package;
  • 7,000 people receive a meal service care package
  • 24,000 people receive a Home Help care package; and
  • 8,500 people are provided with intensive support in their own homes.