Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled; pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve and responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

You can read more about the NHS Constitution here.

Patient rights

Seven key principles guide the NHS and GP practices in all they do. As a patient you can expect the following from the NHS and from Stepping Stone Practice:

  1. The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all
  2. Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. NHS services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Parliament
  3. The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism
  4. The patient will be at the heart of everything the NHS does
  5. The NHS works across organisational boundaries
  6. The NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money
  7. The NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves

Patient responsibilities

With these rights come responsibilities for the public. The NHS belongs to all of us. There are things that we can all do for ourselves and for one another to help it work effectively, and to ensure resources are used responsibly. As a patient at Stepping Stone Practice we expect the following from you:

  1. Please recognise that you can make a significant contribution to your own, and your family’s, good health and wellbeing, and take personal responsibility for it.
  2. Please register with a GP practice – the main point of access to NHS care as commissioned by NHS bodies.
  3. Please 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. You should recognise that abusive and violent behaviour could result in you being refused access to NHS services and being removed from the practice list.
  4. Please provide accurate information about your health, condition and status and keep your information such as name, address and telephone numbers up to date.
  5. Please keep appointments or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
  6. Please follow the course of treatment which you have agreed and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
  7. Please participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.
  8. Please ensure that those closest to you are aware of your wishes about organ donation.
  9. Please give feedback – both positive and negative – about your experiences and the treatment and care you have received, including any adverse reactions you may have had. You can often provide feedback anonymously and giving feedback will not affect adversely your care or how you are treated. If a family member or someone you are a carer for is a patient and unable to provide feedback, you are encouraged to give feedback about their experiences on their behalf. Feedback will help to improve NHS services for all. Click here for more information on how to give feedback.