Patient Choice in the NHS

Patient Choice in NHS healthcare

The NHS is founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – patients and public – and the staff who work for it.

Our Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieving, together with responsibilities, which the public, patients, and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

The Secretary of State for Health, all NHS bodies, private and voluntary sector providers supplying NHS services, and local authorities in the exercise of their public health functions are required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions

There is further specific detail in relation to rights and responsibilities in the NHS Constitution Handbook 2015.

Patient choice of where to be cared for is a key component of patients’ rights, the importance of it is incorporated into the NHS Five Year Forward View and it is central to the future of the NHS.

 West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has a duty under the NHS Act 2006, sections 14U and 14V to enable patients to make choices and to promote their involvement in decisions in respect of their care or treatment.

Improving the information available for patients, ensuring that patients are consistently offered choice and raising awareness amongst patients – particularly their legal rights – are a high priority.

Choices currently available to NHS patients under the NHS Choice Framework can be found via the following link -

NHS Choice Framework provides information on choosing the following care and treatment:

  • Choice of GP
  • Hospital or consultant; for physical or mental health
  • Treatment in another European Economic Area country
  • Maternity Care
  • Personal Health Budgets

For information to assist you to compare the quality of NHS services near you please see the detailed information on the NHS Choices web pages please use the following link -