The NHS Constitution was published on 21 January 2009 which set out a ten year plan to provide the highest quality of care and service for patients in England. The purpose of this is to bring together in one place, what staff, patients and the public expect from the NHS. For patients and the public, this means clear guidance about what they have the right to expect from the NHS and what to do if they don’t get it. As all the rights and pledges are set out in one place, it means that everyone knows what they are entitled to. The NHS Constitution also sets out the responsibilities that patients and the public should uphold to help the NHS work effectively and to make sure that resources are used responsibly. It helps staff, patients and the public work together to ensure that quality NHS services are delivered.
Two new rights for patients have been added to the NHS Constitution, which came into effect on 1 April 2010.
These additions mean you:
- Have the right to start treatment by a consultant within 18 weeks of a GP referral
- Are to be seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent GP referral.
For further information on the NHS Constitution and the updated two week referral right, please refer to the related documents on the right-hand side of this page.
The Constitution was updated in 2012. Please click on the link on the right to download it.
If you have any queries about the NHS Constitution then please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service:
Tel: 01484 464464
Text: Text: "KPALS" to 64446