The NHS Constitution
The NHS Constitution explains the principles, values, rights and responsibilities that underpin the NHS. It is designed to make sure that the NHS continues to meet the needs of patients, the public and staff.
In January 2009, the Department of Health published the NHS Constitution which establishes the principles, values, rights and responsibilities that underpin the NHS. It is designed to renew and secure our commitment to the enduring principles of the NHS, making sure that it continues to be relevant to the needs of patients, the public and staff.
All NHS organisations as well as third sector and independent organisations providing NHS care should be legally required to take account of the NHS Constitution in performing their NHS functions.
What does the NHS Constitution mean for patients and the public?
The Constitution clarifies what people can expect from the NHS and what to do if they do not get it. The NHS Constitution also sets out the responsibilities that patients and the public should uphold to help the NHS work effectively and to ensure that NHS resources are used responsibly.
What does the NHS Constitution mean for NHS staff?
It means that staff will work with more informed patients and members of the public who are better able to work in partnership with those who are helping them. It also reinforces the NHS’s commitment to provide clear roles, responsibilities and personal development for staff, maintain health and safety and engage with staff on important matters.