Welcome from Professor David Chiddick CBE,
Acting Chairman NHS East Midlands
The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England.
It sets out:
- rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled
- pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve
- responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.
All NHS bodies, and private and third sector providers that supply NHS services, are required by law to take account of the Constitution in their decisions and actions.
This website brings the NHS Constitution to life, allowing you to access the document electronically. There are separate pages on:
- The principles that guide the NHS
- NHS values
- Patients and the public
It also enables you to localise any queries you may have, by linking to the NHS Choices website, and to record any feedback.
As the acting Chairman of NHS East Midlands, I take personal responsibility for ensuring that the NHS Constitution is positioned at the heart of the NHS in our region. It will be renewed every 10 years, with the involvement of the public, patients and staff.
The NHS Constitution handbook will be updated (a legal requirement) at least every three years. It sets out current guidance on the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities established by the NHS Constitution. Thus, the principles and values which underpin the NHS will be reviewed regularly, and any government which seeks to alter the principles or values of the NHS, or the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities set out in this Constitution, will have to engage in a full and transparent debate with the public, patients and staff.
The NHS Constitution provides the foundations for all that we do within the NHS. Everyone – whether a patient, member of the public or health care professional – needs to be aware of this important document, take it seriously and make it work on an everyday basis.