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Patients & Visitors

The NHS Constitution

The NHS Constitution brings together, for the first time, the principles, values, rights and responsibilities that underpin the NHS.

It is designed to renew and secure our commitment to the enduring principles of the NHS, making sure that the NHS continues to be relevant to the needs of patients, the public and staff in the 21st century.

The Constitution contains:

  • A short introduction, which outlines the purpose of the NHS and of the Constitution
  • Rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled and are protected by law, pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve (but are not legally binding), and responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively
  • The principles of the NHS, which are the enduring high-level 'rules' that govern the way that the NHS operates, and define how it seeks to achieve its purpose
  • NHS values - that inspire passion in the NHS and should guide it in the 21st century

More information can be found on:

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