Practice: an establishment from which general medical practitioners and others such as nurses provide a general medical service to patients

Commissioning: the process of planning, specifying and purchasing services on behalf of NHS patients within budget allocations set by the government

Direct enhanced service payment: a contractual means for rewarding general practices for undertaking specified pieces of work

General medical services: the primary care services provided by GPs and their clinical staff

Primary care: first contact diagnostic and treatment services provided by general medical services

Indicative budget: the amount practices have to spend on their patients, derived as a share of the resources allocated to the PCT in whose locality the practice is situated. The PCT remains legally responsible for performance against the budget. The size of the budget is based on population size and case-mix.

Fundholding: the previous Conservative government policy under which doctors were given control of budgets

Universal coverage: the phrase used by the government to describe its target that all patients should have access to a PBC practice by 31 December 2006

Operating framework: DoH guidance published in January 2006 setting out the government's priorities and expectations of the NHS in 2006-07