NHS Constitution can empower patients says The King's Fund

Commenting on today's publication of the NHS Constitution, The King's Fund Chief Executive Niall Dickson said:

'Creating an NHS Constitution in itself will not transform health care in this country. But what it will do is to set out the rights to which patients are currently entitled and the principles that underpin the NHS. For the first time in one document patients will be able to see what they can expect from the NHS – it has the potential to empower them to demand a better service and will be useful for patients and relatives.

'The principles are remarkably similar to those set out in the NHS Act 1946, reaffirming that these are enduring values fundamental to a publicly funded universal system of health care.

'Even if the constitution doesn't have an immediate impact, it could and should become something that providers of NHS-funded care should aspire to and which helps them benchmark the care they deliver.'

Notes to editors: 

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund press and public affairs office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King’s Fund seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes  research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.