Patient Rights & Responsibilities

NHS Constitution

The NHS belongs to all of us. The NHS Constitution brings together in one place what the NHS does and what it stands for.
As well as setting out the principles and values of the NHS, the Constitution outlines the rights to which patients are entitled, the responsibilities to which the public and patients owe to one another and the pledges to which the NHS is committed to achieve. Staff also have rights and there are pledges the NHS makes to them and, in return, they too have responsibilities to the NHS.

At North Bristol NHS Trust we have pledged our commitment to the principles and values of the NHS Constitution. We are committed to putting patients first, recognising people as individuals, striving for excellence and working well together. We aim to provide the highest possible standards of healthcare, to be the specialist service of first choice for patients, both for local and tertiary services and to provide the best possible patient journey, within the resources available – values which are highlighted in the Constitution.

As a patient some of your key rights are to:

  • To receive NHS services free of charge
  • Not be discriminated against
  • Be treated with professional standards by qualified and experienced staff
  • Expect NHS organisations to monitor and try to improve continuously the quality of their services
  • Be treated with dignity and respect
  • Accept or refuse treatment and only be physically examined with consent
  • Be given information about any test and treatment options open to you, what they involve and their risks and benefits
  • Have access to your own records
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Have any complaint acknowledged within three days and properly investigated
  • Compensation if harmed by negligent treatment

Some of our key pledges to patients are to:

  • Ensure that any transfer between services is as smooth as possible and you are fully involved
  • Provide a clean and safe environment
  • Share with you any letters sent between clinicians about you
  • Treat you with courtesy and give support in the handling of any complaint and ensure it has no effect on any future treatment
  • Identify, acknowledge and learn from mistakes, complaints and claims

Some of your responsibilities are to:

  • Treat NHS staff and other patients with respect
  • Keep appointments or cancel within a reasonable time
  • Give positive or negative feedback about your experiences and the treatment and care you receive

Full details about the rights, responsibilities and pledges set out within the NHS Constitution are available at: