Patient Rights

Patient rights

The NHS Constitution January 2009 explains patients’ rights and responsibilities and the NHS commitment to patients.  

Patients have the right to:  

  • Be treated with a professional standard of care, by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, in a properly approved or registered organisation that meets required levels of safety and quality.
  • Expect NHS organisations to monitor, and make efforts to improve the quality of healthcare they commission or provide.
  • Drugs and treatments that have been recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for use in the NHS, if their doctor says they are clinically appropriate for them.
  • Expect local decisions on funding of others drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If the local NHS decides not to fund a drug or treatment that the patient and their doctor feel would be right, South West Essex PCT will be in the position to explain that decision to you.
  • Receive the vaccinations that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends that should be received under an NHS-provided national immunisation programme.
  • Be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with Human Rights.
  • Accept or refuse treatment that is offered to the patient, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless the patient has given valid consent.  If a patient does not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on their behalf, or the treatment must be in the patients’ best interests.
  • Be given information about their proposed treatment in advance, including any significant risks and any alterative treatments which may be available, and the risks involved in doing nothing.
  • Privacy and confidentiality and to expect the NHS to keep their confidential information safe and secure.
  • Access to their own health records. The medical records will always be used to manage the patients’ treatment in their best interests.
  • Choose their GP Practice and to be accepted by that Practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case, the patient will be informed of those reasons.
  • Express a preference for using a particular doctor within their GP Practice and for the Practice to try to comply.
  • Make choices about their NHS care and to information to support these choices.  The options available to patients will develop over time and depend on their individual needs. 
  • 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.

Patients Responsibilities:  

  • Patients should recognise that they can make a significant contribution to their own and  family’s, good health and well-being and take some personal responsibility for it
  • Patients should treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution
  • Patients should provide accurate information about their health, condition and status
  • Patients should keep appointments or cancel within reasonable time.  Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless they do
  • Patients should follow the course of treatment which has been agreed, and talk to their clinician if they find it difficult
  • Patients should participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination
  • Patients should ensure that those closest to them are aware of their wishes about organ donation
  • Patients should give feedback – both positive and negative – about the treatment and care they have received, including any adverse reactions that they may have had

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