The NHS Constitution was published on 21 January 2009. It was one of a number of recommendations in Lord Darzi’s report ‘High Quality Care for All’ which was published on the 60th anniversary of the NHS and set out a ten-year plan to provide the highest quality of care and service for patients in England.
The NHS belongs to us all. The NHS Constitution brings together in one place for the first time in the history of the NHS, what staff, patients and public can expect from the NHS.
As well as capturing the purpose, principles and values of the NHS, the Constitution brings together a number of rights, pledges and responsibilities for staff and patients alike. These rights and responsibilities are the result of extensive discussions and consultations with staff, patients and public and it reflects what matters to them.
The NHS Constitution for England
Subject to Parliamentary approval, all NHS bodies, and private and third-sector providers supplying NHS services in England will be required by law to take account of the Constitution in their decisions and actions. The Government will have 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.