NHS constitution

The aim of the NHS Constitution is to safeguard the enduring principles and values of the NHS.

The Constitution sets out clear expectations about the behaviors of both staff and patients. It is intended to empower the public, patients and staff by setting out existing legal rights and pledges in one place and in clear and simple language. By knowing and exercising their rights, the public, patients (their carers and families) and staff can help the NHS improve the care it provides.

All NHS organisations and private and third-sector providers supplying NHS services in England are required by law to take account of the NHS Constitution in their decisions and actions. The government has a legal duty to renew the Constitution every 10 years. No Government will be able to change the Constitution, without the full involvement of staff, patients and the public.

You can view the Constitution and other supporting documents on the Department of Health website.