Patient choice

The NHS Constitution sets out what patients, the public, and staff can expect from the NHS.

It also gives most people living in England the right to choose where to receive treatment, and the choice of hospital or other organisation that provides your NHS care when you’re referred for your first appointment with a consultant. For instance, you can choose where to go, based on things like where you live, whether you can get transport to the site, whether you can be treated at home, and so on.

The NHS Choice Framework covers what you can and cannot choose.

You can make a choice of:

  • GP
  • hospital or consultant
  • mental health service
  • maternity services
  • end of life care.

There are things that are not covered such as where you go if you need emergency care.

The Constitution also sets out your rights about access to health services, quality of care, the treatments, and programmes available, confidentiality, information, and your right to complain if things go wrong.

Thi NHS Constitution is also available in EasyRead format.