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NHS Constitution

nickh

nickh

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I got hold today of a thick, glossy document called 'The Handbook to the NHS Constitution'. You can order or download a copy at....

http://www.orderline.dh.gov.uk/ecom_dh/public/saleproduct.jsf?rowId=292327

Basically it is an explanation of the new 'NHS Constitution' which comes into full force on 1st April (no jokes! :)). It explains what 'Rights' patients have and also a number of 'Pledges' which the Governmnt is introducing. I suppose it goes without saying that the relationship between this document and real life is - well lets say a little tenuous. But it is valuable for giving the legal framework and theory.

A couple of specific points..

1.) on Patient Choice: 'From 1 April 2009 you will have the right to choose the organisation that provides your NHS care when you are referred for your first outpatient appointment with a service led by a consultant'. Sounds dandy. But a little further down we find 'Services Excluded.......Mental Health Services'!!!!!!!! No comment.

2.) This is the wording of a Pledge. 'The NHS commits to ensure you are treated with courtesy and you receive appropriate support throughout the handling of a complaint; and the fact that you have complained will not adversely affect your future treatment'. The fact that they make this Pledge seems to me to acknowledge that people's treatment has been 'adversely affected' when they have complained in the past. Anyway it obviously relates directly to the discussion we have just been having about complaining so I thought it worth noting.

Nick.
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
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Location
Birmingham UK
Can I just ask if anyone is aware of any campaign/campaigning that is going on over the exclusion of Mental Health Services from the choice provisions of the NHS Constitution (see above)?

Thanks.

Nick.
 
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