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NHS Constitution

The principles and values of the NHS in England

NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group has formally adopted the NHS Constitution. The CCG has a duty to promote the NHS Constitution in the exercise of its functions: 

  • act with a view to securing that health services are provided in a way which promotes the NHS Constitution, and
  • promote awareness of the NHS Constitution among patients, staff and members of the public.


The Department of Health has published an updated  NHS Constitution following a consultation that sought views on a number of proposed changes.

Important areas that were improved in the NHS Constitution include:

  • patient involvement
  • feedback
  • duty of candour
  • end of life care
  • integrated care
  • complaints
  • patient information
  • staff rights, responsibilities and commitments
  • dignity, respect and compassion


In addition to strengthening areas of the NHS Constitution, various technical amendments were made to reflect the introduction of the new health and care system from 1 April 2013.

As part of the government’s initial response to the report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust by Robert Francis QC, the Department of Health has changed the NHS Constitution to reflect that the NHS’s most important value is for patients to be at the heart of everything the NHS does. The Francis report emphasises the role of the NHS Constitution in helping to create a positive and caring culture within the NHS.

To accompany the updated NHS Constitution, the Department of Health has also published:


The Department of Health has stated that the Public Health Supplement to the NHS Constitution (a joint document from the Department of Health, Public Health England and the Local Government Association), will be available shortly. This document will explain how the NHS Constitution applies to local authorities in the exercise of their public health functions from 1 April 2013.

In addition, the DH intend to publish a guide to the healthcare system in England, including a statement of NHS accountability, which summarises who is accountable for planning, delivering and assuring NHS services.

More information