The NHS Constitution has been created to protect the NHS and ensure that does the things it was set out to do – to provide high quality healthcare that is free at the point of delivery.

The NHS Constitution brings together in one place details of what staff, patients and the public can expect from the National Health Service.

It also explains what you can do to help support the NHS so that it works effectively and its resources are used responsibly.

The Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient. These cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong.

The NHS makes pledges to you that go above and beyond your legal rights and are a commitment to provide high-quality services.

​We can all help the NHS to work effectively and ensure resources are used responsibly. The NHS Constitution explains the ways in which you can do this, including:

  • recognising that you can make a significant contribution to your own, and your family’s good health and well-being, and taking some personal responsibility for it;
  • registering with a GP practice
  • following courses of treatment you’ve agreed to;
  • always treating NHS staff and other patients with respect;
  • keeping GP and hospital appointments – or if you have to cancel, doing so in good time;
  • giving feedback – both positive and negative – about treatment you’ve received.

Download a copy of the NHS Constitution