NHS Constitution

Patients and the public – your responsibilities

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. 
  • 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.
  • Please register with a GP practice, the main point of access to NHS care as commissioned by NHS bodies.
  • 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.
  • Please provide accurate information about your health, condition and status.
  • Please keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
  • Please follow the course of treatment which you have agreed, and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
  • Please participate in important public health programmes such as vaccination.
  • Please ensure that those closest to you are aware of your wishes about organ donation.
  • 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.