- Provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation and has a duty to respect their human rights.
- Promotes equality through the service, providing and paying particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population.
- Provides access to services based on clinical need, not on an individual’s ability to pay.
- Aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism, providing safe and effective high-quality care focused on patient experience.
- Ensures that it is effectively lead and managed and its staff receive relevant education, training and development.
- Offers services that reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and carers who will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment.
- Ensures that it works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population.
- Is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves.
Patients have the right:
- To receive NHS services free of charge, apart from certain limited exceptions sanctioned by parliament.
- To access NHS services and not be refused access on unreasonable grounds.
- To expect the practice to assess the health requirements of the local community and to commission and put in place the services to meet those needs as considered necessary.
- In certain circumstances to go to other European Economic Area countries or Switzerland for treatment which would be available through the NHS.
- Not to be unlawfully discriminated against in the provision of NHS services including on grounds of gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability (including learning disability or mental illness) or age.
- To access services within maximum waiting times, or to be offered a range of alternative providers if this is not possible.
- To be treated with a professional standard of care, by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, in a properly approved or registered organisation that meets required levels of safety and quality.
- To be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with their human rights.
- To accept or refuse treatment that is offered, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless valid consent has been given.
- To be given information about their proposed treatment in advance, including any significant risks and any alternative treatments which may be available, and the risks involved in doing nothing.
- To privacy and confidentiality and to expect the practice to keep their confidential information safe and secure.
- To have access to their own health records. To choose their GP practice, and to be accepted by that practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case they will be informed of those reasons.
- To express a preference for using a particular doctor within their GP practice.
- To make choices about their NHS care and to information to support these choices.
- To be involved in discussions and decisions about their healthcare, and to be given information to enable them to do this.
- To be involved, directly or through representatives, in the planning of healthcare services, the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and in decisions to be made affecting the operation of those services.
- To have any complaint they make about NHS services dealt with efficiently, to have it properly investigated, be told the outcome and have the ability to escalate the complaint to the independent health service Ombudsman.
- To make a claim for judicial review if they think they have been directly affected by an unlawful act or decision of an NHS body.
- To compensation where they have been harmed by negligent treatment.
- To make a significant contribution to their own, and their family’s, good health and wellbeing, and take some personal responsibility for it.
- To treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution.
- To provide accurate information about their health, condition and status.
- To keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Patients can cancel appointments by completing the Cancel an Appointment form.
- To follow the course of treatment which they have agreed, and to talk to their clinician if they find this difficult.
- To participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.
- To ensure that those closest to them are aware of their wishes about organ donation.
- To give feedback – both positive and negative – about the treatment and care they have received, including any adverse reactions they may have had. Patients can provide feedback by completing the Feedback and Complaints triage.
Practice Staff Rights
Practice Staff have the right:
- To a good working environment with flexible working opportunities, consistent with the needs of patients and with the way that people live their lives.
- To have a fair pay and contract framework.
- To be involved and represented in the workplace.
- To have healthy and safe working conditions and an environment free from harassment, bullying or violence. This is in line with our Zero Tolerance policy.
- To be treated fairly, equally and free from discrimination.
- To raise an internal grievance and if necessary seek redress, where it is felt that a right has not been upheld.
Practice Staff Responsibilities
Practice Staff have the duty:
- To accept professional accountability and maintain the standards of professional practice as set by the appropriate regulatory body applicable to their profession or role.
- To take reasonable care of health and safety at work for themselves, their team and others, and to co-operate with employers to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
- To act in accordance with the express and implied terms of their contract of employment.
- Not to discriminate against patients or staff and to adhere to equal opportunities and equality and human rights legislation.
- To protect the confidentiality of personal information that they hold unless doing so would put anyone at risk of significant harm. More information on this can be found in our Confidentiality policy.
- To be honest and truthful in applying for a job and in carrying out that job.
The NHS Constitution, 8 March 2010.