I am sure readers are aware of the refreshed NHS Constitution which was updated and published at the end of last month by the Department of Health. This followed a public consultation that sought views on a number of proposed changes. The updated NHS Constitution and accompanying Handbook can be viewed here.
The revised Constitution has been strengthened in a number of areas, including:
- patient involvement;
- duty of candour;
- end of life care;
- integrated care;
- patient information;
- staff rights,
- responsibilities and commitments; and
- dignity, respect and compassion.
Since 2009 all NHS providers, for profit and not for profit, supplying NHS services have been required by law to take account of the NHS Constitution in their decisions and actions.
Now CCGs, NHS England and Health Education England (HEE) have a statutory duty to ‘promote’ the Constitution. Since the publication of the Francis report a system–wide approach is crucial to the improvement of care across the NHS. NHS England are planning to co-develop and implement a joint strategy for promoting the Constitution, including appropriate means of monitoring progress and impact.
NHS England has now launched a number of workshops to discuss how NHS England, CCGs and HEE can help promote the NHS Constitution.