Find out about your legal rights when using health and social care services.

NHS Constitution – your patient rights

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

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 states that local authorities must ensure that any adult who appears to require care and support – including carers with support needs – has their needs assessed.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has more information about the Care Act 2014.

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act protects the rights of people to make their own decisions and places a responsibility on professionals to support people to make their own choices wherever possible.

Mind has a guide to your rights under the Mental Capacity Act.

Choice in Mental Health

A guide for people using mental health services on their legal right to choose a provider that best suits their individual needs and preferences.

Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets help you manage your healthcare needs and support such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits you. 

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 and 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 this choice might be limited to a practice near where you live.

Guide to Maximum 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

Information on NHS entitlements, health guides and language interpretation for people entering the UK.

If you need help understanding the right organisation to support you please contact us by email on or call (freephone) 0800 652 5278


Advocacy, patient rights and safeguarding

Getting advocacy support

Find an advocate to help you with things like getting information about treatments or making complaints.

Find out more


Find out who to contact if you’re worried about someone.  Please call the police on 999 if you have concerns that somebody is immediate danger.

Find out more