How Does it Affect me?
The NHS Constitution sets out the rights and responsibilities of both patients and staff. There are seven key principles that guide the NHS:
The seven principles of the
- 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, except in limited circumstances sanctioned
- The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism in all that it does, including the development and support of staff, as well as the care and treatment of patients.
- NHS services must reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients should not be seen as passive recipients of treatment, but as partners whose individual needs and preferences should be
taken into account.
- The NHS works together across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interests 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. As we live longer, and scientific knowledge and technology advance, we have to use the NHS's resources responsibly and fairly.
- The NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves - it takes most of its decisions locally and gives us the chance to influence and scrutinise its performance and priorities
Along with the seven guiding principles, the NHS Constitution also sets out the core values of the NHS. These are:
Respect and dignity, Commitment to quality of care, Compassion, Improving lives, Working together for patients and everyone counts
These values and principles provide the core framework of the NHS. The NHS Constitution also sets out what you as a patient have the right to expect from the NHS and what is expected from you as a patient.
For further information on these rights, responsibilities and what you can expect from your NHS then please read the full version of The NHS Constitution which is accompanied by The Handbook to The NHS Constitution which gives greater detail on the information covered.