What are your NHS rights?

Did you know that you have dozens of legal NHS rights, including access to free care, waiting times, medical records, making a complaint, and more.

The public has a range of NHS rights set out in the NHS Constitution, a legally binding document.

These include:

  • the right to free NHS treatment (apart from a small number of exceptions like NHS dental treatment)
  • the right to be cared for in a clean, safe, secure and suitable environment
  • the right to be treated with dignity and respect by the NHS
  • the right to access your own health records

Detailed information about these rights, including the maximum time you have to wait, for things like an operation or cancer treatment, are set out in The Handbook to the Constitution.

The Constitution also sets out patient responsibilities, including:

  • treating staff with respect
  • keeping your appointments or cancelling within a reasonable time
  • follow your agreed treatment plan, or discuss why this might be difficult, with your health professional
  • give feedback - whether positive or negative - to help the NHS improve services for all people.

Go to the NHS Constitution and Handbook

If you feel your rights have been breached and want the NHS to put things right, you can get advice from one of our NHS Complaints Advocates.

Get in touch with an advocate