Have Your Say on the NHS Constitution

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Don`t miss out on the chance to have your say on plans for the NHS Constitution – but hurry, time is running out. The NHS Constitution will record in one place what the NHS in England does, what it stands for and should live up to. It will also state how decisions affecting the NHS should be made.

The NHS Constitution is the first of its kind in the world and comes as a result of discussions with staff, patients and the public as part of the Darzi review. It declares the Government`s commitment to the NHS being a service for all, funded by taxes and based on clinical need and not an individual`s ability to pay.

It recognises the future of the NHS is too important to be left to chance. The Government will be obliged by law to renew the NHS Constitution every ten years. Any changes made will be as a result of a full and transparent debate.

The Constitution means local people will have important rights around access to drugs and treatments, health services, information, quality of care and environment, dignity and respect, complaint and redress.

West Essex PCT Chairman Alan Tobias OBE said: The NHS Constitution explains your rights as patients to make choices about your healthcare. It also sets out principles on how all parts of the NHS should act and make decisions. It describes what we can all do to make better use of the NHS. This is your opportunity to make comments about how we provide health services in the future.

Created 60 years ago the NHS has changed radically and for the better. Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson said: The content of the Constitution was not dreamt up by me or civil servants in Whitehall. It is something that has arisen out of discussions with thousands of NHS staff, patients and the public across the country. The NHS belongs to the people. I would urge everyone to take part in this consultation to ensure that the NHS is fit for the future.

More information on the consultation together with contact details can be found on the Department of Health website and you can also record your views on the NHS East of England`s blog.

The consultation on the draft NHS Constitution, run by the Department of Health, ends on 17 October 2008.

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