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.

As an NHS staff member, it is important that you are aware 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 your rights and responsibilities as a member of staff and the NHS’s commitments to you.
  • You need to take account of patient’s rights, responsibilities and the NHS’s pledges to them when caring for them.
  • You are often the point of contact when patients and their families wish to raise an issue or complaint. Therefore you need to be confident to deal with those occasions in line with what is laid down in the NHS Constitution.
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