When naming your services, you should follow the principles set out below. These principles will help you to improve patient and public understanding of NHS services.

Service names must:

  • lead with the NHS letters;
  • be clear and descriptive - free from medical jargon;
  • be written out in full - not as acronyms or abbreviations (although commonly understood abbreviations, such as 'MRI', are acceptable;
  • be direct and tangible - not abstract;
  • contain a geographical reference (where possible).

Service names must not:

  • include your provider name

The names of your services must be agreed in consultation with your local NHS representative(s) and the Department of Health (DH). Your local NHS representatives could be a host trust, your local PCTs or any other local stakeholders that should be included in the process.

Please note: the names of services may not always be the same as the names of the facility in which they are being delivered. For example, a new NHS MRI scanning service might be delivered in an existing private facility. The name of the new NHS service would need to follow the naming principles above, but you would not be expected to rename the existing private facility.


Last updated: 03/06/10