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 responsibilities for it.
You should register with a GP practice – the main point of access to NHS care.
You should treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognize that causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution.
You should keep appointments, or cancel with reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
You should follow the course of treatment which you have agreed, and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
You should participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.
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.
Patients – Your rights and NHS pledges to you
You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests *.
*If you are detained in hospital or on supervised community treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 different rules may apply to treatment for your mental disorder. These rules will be explained to you at the time. They may mean that you can be given treatment for your mental disorder even though you do not consent.
You have the right to be given information about your proposed treatment in advance, including any significant risks and any alternative treatments which may be available, and the risks involved in doing nothing.
You have the right of access to your own health records. These will always be used to manage your treatment in your best interests.
You have the right to choose your GP practice, and to be accepted by that practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case you will be informed of those reasons.
You have the right to express a preference for using a particular doctor within your GP practice, and for the practice to try to comply.
You have the right to make choices about your NHS care and to information to support these choices. The options available to you will develop over time nd depend on your individual needs. Details are set out in the Handbook to the NHS Consitution (www.nhs.uk) .
The NHS also commits:
- To inform you about the healthcare services available to you, locally and nationally.
- To offer you easily accessible, reliable and relevant information to enable you to participate fully in your own healthcare decisions and to support you in making choices. This will include information on the quality of clinical services where there is robust and accurate information available.
Involvement in your healthcare and in the NHS:
You have the right to be involved in discussions and decisions about your healthcare, and to be given information to enable you to do this.
You have the right 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.
The NHS also commits:
- to provide you with the information you need to influence and scrutinise the planning and delivery of NHS services.
- To work in partnership with you, your family, carers and representatives.
Complaint and redress
You have the right to have any complaint you make about NHS services dealt with efficiently and to have it properly investigated.
You have the right to know the outcome of any investigation into your complaint.
You have the right to take your complaint to the independent Health Service Ombudsman, if you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with by the NHS.
You have the right to make a claim for judicial review if you think you have been directly affected by an unlawful act or decision of an NHS body.
You have the right to compensation where you have been harmed by negligent treatment.
The NHS also commits:
- To ensure you are treated with courtesy and you receive appropriate support throughout the handling of a complaint; and the fact that you have complained will not adversely affect your future treatment.
- To ensure that the organization learns lessons from complaints and claims and uses these to improve NHS services.