Jargon buster

A guide to some of the terms used within the NHS

Early intervention

A way of picking up the early signs of a serious mental illness. This is so that treatment can start as early as possible to help people to maintain their mental health.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

A simple and painless test that involves recording brain activity by attaching electrical wires (called electrodes) to the head. This brain wave information can be used to diagnose conditions such as epilepsy.

Emergency Department (ED)

The part of a hospital for anyone who has a serious injury or who needs emergency treatment. In some hospitals, this is known as the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department or casuality.


Dealing with the incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.

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