Understand your Patient Rights

If you need to understand your legal rights in accessing and using health and social care services please find relevant information links below. Please click organisational titles to go to their websites.


NHS Constitution – your patient rights

This handbook is designed to give the public, patients, carers, families and NHS staff all the information they need about the NHS Constitution for England.

Care Act 2014

Under the act, from April 2014, local authorities must ensure that any adult who appears to require care and support – including carers with support needs – has their needs assessed. This is regardless of their likely eligibility for state-funded care. New resources from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have been designed to support local authority staff, social workers and others involved in assessment and eligibility.

Mental Capacity Act

Information from Birmingham South Central CCG. The Mental Capacity Act protects the rights of people to make their own decisions; it also places a responsibility on professionals to support people to make their own choices wherever possible. Find out more information, factsheets, information for carers, and links to the National Mental Capacity Forum by clicking the link above.

Choice in Mental Health: Your legal right to choose provider

From NHS Improvement: When you are referred by a GP to a consultant or specialist in mental health, you have the right to choose the organisation (provider) that provides your care. The guide explains your right to choose the provider that best meets your individual needs, how you can choose any provider of the service you need , when your choice isn’t appropriate for your care needs and how your commissioners and healthcare professionals should be proactive in facilitating choice

Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets are being introduced by the NHS to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. Visit NHS Choices here to find out more about Personal health budgets, useful links, eligibility, and managing your personal health budget.

NHS e-Referral Services

If you have been referred by your GP for an appointment with a healthcare provider, you may be able to book your appointment with NHS e-Referral Service. You have the right to think about your choices, compare different options and book your appointment at a later stage.

Choosing a Hospital

If you need to go to hospital to see a specialist, you have the right to choose which hospital you’re referred to by your GP.

Choosing a Consultant

If you are referred by your GP or other health professional to a specialist, then you have the right to choose which hospital to go to for your first outpatient appointment and which consultant-led team will be in charge of your treatment.

Choosing a GP Practice

You have the right to choose a GP practice, although for most people this choice is currently limited to a practice near where they live.

How to register with a GP – for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
How to register with a GP – for those who are Homeless
How to register with a GP – for those from Ethnic, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Guide to Maximum 18 Week Waiting Times

The NHS Constitution says you have the right to access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times. Where this is not possible and you ask for this, the NHS will take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of suitable alternative providers.

Migrant Health Guide

Includes information on NHS entitlements, health guides and language interpretation.

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