The NHS constitution sets out rights for people who use the NHS and also their responsibility in making the appropriate use. Below is the edited highlights from the constitution.
The Constitution will be renewed every 10 years. Key points below:
- The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
- Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. NHS services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Parliament.
- The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism – in the provision of high-quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience.
- The NHS works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population.
- The NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources.
Patients and the public – your responsibilities:
- You should recognise that you can make a significant contribution to your own, and your family’s, good health and well-being, and take some personal responsibility for it.
- You should treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution.
- You should keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
- You should ensure that those closest to you are aware of your wishes about organ donation.
- You should give feedback –both positive and negative – about the treatment and care you have received, including any adverse reactions you may have had.