The NHS belongs to us all: staff, patients and the public
The NHS Constitution sets out what everyone can expect from the NHS – and what we can all do to help it to work more effectively. The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively. All NHS bodies and private and third sector providers supplying NHS services will be required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.
The NHS Constitution was published on 21 January 2009 and applies to NHS services in England and this is now law. From January 2010, Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust will be under a new legal obligation to have regard to the NHS Constitution in all their decisions and actions. The Constitution’s pledges, principles, values and responsibilities need to be fully embedded and ingrained into everything the NHS does.
The NHS Values provide everyone with a common vision of what the NHS stands for. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.
The NHS commitment to you
When you are in hospital this is what you can expect:
- To have a clear explanation of your condition and the treatment options available to you. If you have difficulties speaking or understanding English please ask for an interpreter before your appointment.
- To be asked for your written permission (called ‘consent’) for any operation or certain procedures after being given all relevant information.
- To be sure that the information in your records will be confidential and only seen by those delivering your care.
- To be treated with respect and dignity at all times in an environment that is clean and safe.
- To get told about different aspects of your treatment and what procedures are being carried out.
- To keep relatives or carers informed of your progress if you want us to.
- To have arrangements made for you to see your patient records if you want.
- To provide convenient, easy access to services within agreed waiting times.
- To make a smooth transition if you are referred between services, and to include you in relevant discussions.
Your commitment to the NHS
In return, we ask you to:
- Give us the information we need about your condition, symptoms or medication so we can provide appropriate care.
- Treat our staff with the same respect you expect from them.
- Let us know about any special needs you may have (for example), an interpreter.
- Follow the course of treatment which you have agreed, and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
- Arrange for your own transport home, if possible.
- Arrange with your family and friends to take care of your personal laundry, if possible.
- Be considerate to other patients.
- Give us feedback, both positive and negative – about the treatment and care you have received, including any adverse reactions you may have had. Email firstname.lastname@example.org