NHS Constitution

nhs constitution

The NHS is founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – patients and public – and the staff who work for it.

This 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.

What the NHS needs from you in return

The NHS is a vital resource and we can all help it work effectively, and ensure resources are used responsibly. The NHS Constitution explains the ways in which you can do this, including: 

  • Recognising that you can make a significant contribution and take some personal responsibility for your own and your family’s good health and wellbeing
  • Registering with a GP practice
  • Following an agreed course of treatment and talking to your clinician if you find it difficult 
  • Always treating NHS staff and other patients with respect
  • Keeping GP and hospital appointments – or if you have to cancel, doing so in good time
  • Giving feedback – both positive and negative – about treatment you’ve received 

Download the NHS Constitution