NHS Constitution

How Scott Road Medical Centre implements the NHS Constitution

The Practice:


  •  Provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or civil partnership status. The service is designed to improve, prevent, diagnose and treat both physical and mental health problems with equal regard. It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights. At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population.
  • Provides access to services based on clinical need, not on an individual’s ability to pay. NHS services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Parliament.
  • Aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism, providing safe and effective high-quality care focused on patient experience; in the people it employs, and in the support, education, training and development they receive; in the leadership and management of its organisations; and through its commitment to innovation and to the promotion, conduct and use of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population. Respect, dignity, compassion and care should be at the core of how patients and staff are treated not only because that is the right thing to do but because patient safety, experience and outcomes are all improved when staff are valued, empowered and supported.The patient will be at the heart of everything we do. We will support individuals to promote and manage their own health. NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. As part of this, the NHS will ensure that in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, those in the armed forces, reservists, their families and veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the area they reside. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment. The NHS will actively encourage feedback from the public, patients and staff, welcome it and use it to improve its services.
  •  Works in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population. The NHS is an integrated system of organisations and services bound together by the principles and values reflected in the Constitution. The NHS is committed to working jointly with other local authority services, other public sector organisations and a wide range of private and voluntary sector organisations to provide and deliver improvements in health and wellbeing.
  • We are committed to providing the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources. Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to the benefit of the people that the NHS serves.
  • Is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves.


  • Patients come first in everything we do. We fully involve patients, staff, families, carers, communities, and professionals inside and outside the NHS. We put the needs of patients and communities before organisational boundaries. We speak up when things go wrong.
  • We value every person – whether patient, their families or carers, or staff – as an individual, respect their aspirations and commitments in life, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits. We take what others have to say seriously. We are honest and open about our point of view and what we can and cannot do.
  • We earn the trust placed in us by insisting on quality and striving to get the basics of quality of care – safety, effectiveness and patient experience – right every time. We encourage and welcome feedback from patients, families, carers, staff and the public. We use this to improve the care we provide and build on our successes.
  • We ensure that compassion is central to the care we provide and respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need. We search for the things we can do, however small, to give comfort and relieve suffering. We find time for patients, their families and carers, as well as those we work alongside. We do not wait to be asked, because we care.
  • We strive to improve health and wellbeing and people’s experiences of the NHS. We cherish excellence and professionalism wherever we find it – in the everyday things that make people’s lives better as much as in clinical practice, service improvements and innovation. We recognise that all have a part to play in making ourselves, patients and our communities healthier.
  • We maximise our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded, discriminated against or left behind. We accept that some people need more help, that difficult decisions have to be taken – and that when we waste resources we waste opportunities for others.

Patient Rights


Patients have the right:

  • To receive NHS services free of charge, apart from certain limited exceptions sanctioned by Parliament.
  • To access NHS services and not be refused access on unreasonable grounds.
  • To receive care and treatment that is appropriate to them, meets their needs and reflects their preferences.
  • To expect the Practice to assess the health requirements of the local community and to commission and put in place the services to meet those needs as considered necessary.
  • In certain circumstances to go to other European Economic Area countries or Switzerland for treatment which would be available through the NHS.
  • Not to be unlawfully discriminated against in the provision of NHS services including on grounds of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or martial or civil partnership status.
  • To access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times or for the NHS to take reasonable steps to offer you a range of suitable alternative providers if this is not possible. The waiting times are described in the Handbook to the NHS constitution.
  • To be treated with a professional standard of care, by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, in a properly approved or registered organisation that meets required levels of safety and quality.
  • You have the right to be cared for in a clean, safe, secure and suitable environment.
  • To expect NHS bodies to monitor, and make efforts to improve continuously, the quality of healthcare they commission or provide. This includes improvements to the safety, effectiveness and experience of services.
  • To drugs and treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if their doctor says they are clinically appropriate for them.
  • To expect local decisions on funding or other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If the local NHS decides not to fund a drug or treatment them and their doctor feel would be right for them, they will explain that decision to them.
  • To receive the vaccinations that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends that you should receive under an NHS provided national immunisation programme.
  • To be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with their human rights.
  • To be protected from abuse and neglect, and care and treatment that is degrading.
  • To accept or refuse treatment that is offered to them, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless valid consent has been given. If they do not have capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on their behalf, or the treatment must be in their best interests.
  • To be given information about the test and treatment options available to them, what they involve and their risks and benefits.
  • To access their own health records and to have factual inaccuracies corrected.
  • To privacy and confidentiality and to expect the Practice to keep their confidential information safe and secure.
  • To be informed about how their information is used.
  • To request that confidential information is not used beyond their own care and treatment and to have their objections considered, and where their wishes cannot be followed, to be told the reasons included the legal basis.
  • To choose their GP practice, and to be accepted by that Practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case they will be informed of those reasons.
  • To express a preference for using a particular doctor within their GP Practice.
  • To transparent, accessible and comparable data on the quality of local healthcare providers, and on outcomes, as compared to others nationally.
  • To make choices about their NHS care and to information to support these choices.
  • To be involved in planning and making decisions about their health and care, and to be given information to enable them to do this. Where appropriate, this right includes your family and carers. This includes being given the chance to manage your own care and treatment, if appropriate.
  • To an open and transparent relationship with the practice. They must be told about any safety incident relating to their care which in the opinion of a healthcare professional, has caused, or could still cause, significant harm or death. They must be given the facts, an apology, and any reasonable support they need.
  • To be involved, directly or through representatives, in the planning of healthcare services, the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and in decisions to be made affecting the operation of those services.
  • To have any complaint they make about NHS services acknowledged within three working days and to have it properly investigated.
  • To discuss the manner in which the complaint is to be handled, and to know the period within which the investigation is likely to be completed and the response sent.
  • To be kept informed of progress and to know the outcome of any investigation into your complaint, including an explanation of the conclusions and confirmation that any action taken
  • To take their complaint to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman or Local Government Ombudsman, if they are not satisfied with the way their complaint has been dealt with by the NHS.
  • To make a claim for judicial review if they think they have been directly affected by an unlawful act or decision of an NHS body.
  • To compensation where they have been harmed by negligent treatment. 

Patient Responsibilities


  • To make a significant contribution to their own, and their family’s, good health and well-being, and take some personal responsibility for it.
  • To register with a GP practice.
  • To treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that violence or the causing of nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution. They should recognise that abusive and violent behaviour could result in their being refused access to NHS services.
  • To provide accurate information about their health, condition and status.
  • To keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment with maximum waiting times may be compromised unless they do.
  • To follow the course of treatment which they have agreed, and talk to their clinician if they find this difficult.
  • To participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.
  • To ensure that those closest to them are aware of their wishes about organ donation.
  • To give feedback – both positive and negative – about the experience and the treatment and care they have received, including any adverse reactions they may have had. They can often provide feedback anonymously and giving feedback will not affect adversely their care or how they are treated. If a family member or someone they are a carer for is a patient and unable to provide feedback, they are encouraged to give feedback about their experiences on their behalf. Feedback will help to improve NHS services for all.


Practice Staff Rights

Practice staff have the right:

  • To a good working environment with flexible working opportunities, consistent with the needs of patients and with the way that people live their lives;
  • To have a fair pay and contract framework;
  • To be involved and represented in the workplace;
  • To have healthy and safe working conditions and an environment free from harassment, bullying or violence;
  • To be treated fairly, equally and free from discrimination;
  • can in certain circumstances take a complaint about their employer to an Employment Tribunal
  • To raise an internal grievance and if necessary seek redress, where it is felt that a right has not been upheld;
  • To raise any concern with their employer, whether it is about safety, malpractice or other risk, in the public interest, without suffering any detriment.

NHS Pledge to Staff Members

 The NHS Commits:

  • provide a positive working environment for staff and to promote supportive, open cultures that help staff do their job to the best of their ability
  • To provide all staff with clear roles and responsibilities and rewarding jobs for teams and individuals that make a difference to patients, their families and carers and communities;
  • To provide all staff with personal development, access to appropriate training for their jobs and line management support to enable them to fulfil their potential.
  • To provide support and opportunities for staff to maintain their health, well-being and safety;
  • To engage staff in decisions that affect them and the services they provide, individually, through representative organisations and through local partnership working arrangements. All staff will be empowered to put forward ways to deliver better and safer services for patients and their families;
  • To have a process for staff to raise an internal grievance
  • To support all staff in raising concerns at the earliest reasonable opportunity about safety, malpractice or wrongdoing at work, responding to and, where necessary, investigating the concerns raised and acting consistently with the Employment Rights Act 1996.


Practice Staff Responsibilities


Practice Staff have the duty:

  • To accept professional accountability and maintain the standards of professional practice as set by the appropriate regulatory body applicable to their profession or role.
  • To take reasonable care of health and safety at work for themselves, their team and others, and to co-operate with employers to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
  • To act in accordance with the express and implied terms of their contract of employment.
  • Not to discriminate against patients or staff and to adhere to equal opportunities and equality and human rights legislation.
  • To protect the confidentiality of personal information that they hold unless to do so would put anyone at risk of significant harm.
  • To be honest and truthful in applying for a job and in carrying out that job.
  • To play their part in ensuring the success of the NHS and delivering high-quality care by:
  • provide all patients with safe care, and to do all you can to protect patients from avoidable harm
  • follow all guidance, standards and codes relevant to your role, subject to any more specific requirements of your employers
  • Maintain the highest standards of care and service, treating every individual with compassion, dignity and respect, taking responsibility not only for the care they personally provide, but also for their wider contribution to the aims of their team and the NHS as a whole.
  • find alternative sources of care or assistance for patients, when you are unable to provide this (including for those patients who are not receiving basic care to meet their needs)
  • Taking up training and development opportunities provided over and above those legally required of their particular post;
  • Actively taking part in sustainably improving services by working in partnership with patients, the public and communities;
  • Raising any genuine concern they may have about a risk, malpractice or wrongdoing at work (such as a risk to patient safety, fraud or breaches of patient confidentiality), which may affect patients, the public, other staff or the Practice itself, at the earliest reasonable opportunity;
  • Being open with patients, their families, carers or representatives, including if anything goes wrong; welcoming and listening to feedback and addressing concerns promptly and in a spirit of co-operation.
  • contribute to a climate where the truth can be heard and the reporting of, and learning from, errors is encouraged and colleagues are supported where errors are made
  • Viewing the services they provide from the standpoint of a patient, and involve patients, their families and carers in the services they provide, working with them, their communities and other organisations, and making it clear who is responsible for their care.
  • take every appropriate opportunity to encourage and support patients and colleagues to improve their health and wellbeing
  • contribute towards providing fair and equitable services for all and play your part, wherever possible, in helping to reduce inequalities in experience, access or outcomes between differing groups or sections of society requiring health care
  • inform patients about the use of their confidential information and to record their objections, consent or dissent
  • provide access to a patient’s information to other relevant professionals, always doing so securely, and only where there is a legal and appropriate basis to do so.


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website