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Further Information

Handbook to the NHS Constitution for England & protection against abuse

The handbook to the NHS Constitution for England has been updated. It is designed to give the public, patients, carers, families and NHS staff all the information they need about the NHS Constitution for England and includes

  • explanations of the rights and pledges in the NHS Constitution

On protection from and neglect, and care and treatment that is degrading the handbook say:

'People who use services must be protected from suffering any abuse or improper treatment, including degrading treatment or treatment which significantly disregards their needs.' 

'To achieve this all providers must have, and implement, robust systems and processes that make sure that people are protected. Staff should be aware of their individual responsibilities to prevent, identify and report abuse when providing care and treatment.'

All NHS bodies and private and third sector providers supplying NHS services are required by law to take account of the constitution in their decisions and actions.

This right is based on the fundamental standard requiring providers registered with the CQC to protect people from abuse and improper treatment set out in regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The fundamental standards are legal requirements that NHS Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trusts, GP Practices, Ambulance services, and other providers of NHS services must meet.

Patients should always be treated in line with the fundamental standards. If this is not happening, then the organisation is not meeting its legal duties, and CQC can take action against the provider.

Click here to read the Handbook to the NHS Constitution.