Welcome from Elisabeth Buggins,
Chairman, NHS West Midlands
Elisabeth Buggins CBE, DL. Chairman
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, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve, together with 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 supplying NHS services will be required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.
This website brings to life the NHS Constitution by allowing you to access the document electronically. There are separate pages on the principles that guide the NHS; NHS values; Patients and the Public; and a page dedicated to Staff. It also allows you to localise any queries you have by linking to the NHS Choices website and to record any feedback.
As the Chairman of NHS West Midlands I take personal responsibility for ensuring that the NHS Constitution is positioned at the heart of the NHS in our region. The Constitution will be renewed every 10 years, with the involvement of the public, patients and staff. It will be accompanied by the Handbook to the NHS Constitution, to be renewed at least every three years, setting out current guidance on the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities established by the Constitution. These requirements for renewal will be made legally binding. They will guarantee that the principles and values which underpin the NHS are subject to regular review and recommitment; and that 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.