This Handbook is designed to give the public, patients (their carers and families) and NHS staff all the information they need about the NHS Constitution for England. It is intended that the Handbook will be used by anyone who wishes to have more detail about the rights and pledges in the Constitution. It will be of particular use to organisations that support and advise patients (their carers and families) and staff. The Handbook provides an explanation of each right and pledge in the NHS Constitution and the legal sources of both patient and staff rights. It also outlines the roles we all have to play in protecting and developing the NHS.
The first and second parts of the Handbook provide an explanation of the NHS values (page 12) and guiding Principles (page 14) of the NHS that are set out in the Constitution. The third part of the Handbook (starting from page 17) is a guide to the patients’ rights and pledges contained in the Constitution, and can be used for reference to explain what the Constitution means for patients. It also sets out the responsibilities of people in looking after their own health and working with NHS staff.
The fourth part of the Handbook (starting from page 93) is for staff involved in commissioning and providing NHS services and covers the pledges the NHS has made to staff to help them deliver better quality and compassionate care and to make the NHS a better place to work. It is clear about the expectations the NHS has of staff involved in commissioning and delivering care and their rights as employees. References to the NHS and NHS services include local authority public health services. Where provisions do not apply to local authority public health services these are explained in this Handbook. The legal sources of both the patient and staff rights in the NHS Constitution are provided after an explanation of what these rights mean to patients and staff. READ MORE ON NHS CHOICE