The NHS Constitution sets out the principles and values that guide how the NHS should act and make decisions. It also explains the rights and responsibilities of staff, service users, patients and the public, and the NHS’s pledges to them.

It is important that all NHS staff are aware of and understand the NHS Constitution.


  • Everyone who provides NHS care is required by law to take account of the NHS Constitution in their decisions and actions.
  • It lays out the rights and responsibilities of NHS staff and the NHS’s commitments to you.
  • Staff need to take account of patient’s rights, responsibilities and the NHS’s pledges to them when caring for them.
  • Staff are often the point of contact when patients and their families wish to raise an issue or complaint.  Staff members need to be confident to deal with these instances,  in line with the NHS Constitution.
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