In November, we invited our supporters to complete our online NHS Constitution Poll which asked two questions: are you aware of the NHS Constitution, and are you aware of your rights under the NHS Constitution.
The poll results helped inform the Myeloma UK response to the Department of Health (DH) ‘A consultation on strengthening the NHS Constitution’.
Of the 221 respondents who completed the poll, 92.8% had never heard of the NHS Constitution, and 97.3% were not aware of their rights under the NHS Constitution.
One of the biggest problems with the NHS Constitution to date has been a lack of awareness of its existence amongst the people it impacts upon – in particular patients and NHS staff.
Myeloma UK Policy Officer, Kate Morgan said,
“The findings of the poll clearly highlight that a lot of work needs to be done to make the NHS Constitution more meaningful and to ensure that patients and healthcare professionals are aware of their NHS rights and duties.
“Myeloma UK is pleased that the consultation document acknowledges that a lack of awareness has been a major problem. Consulting with stakeholders on ideas for increasing awareness is a major step in the right direction.
“We hope that the DH will make full use of the response Myeloma UK has provided to the consultation and in particular of our detailed suggestions on how to increase awareness and further cement patient rights to coordinated care and shared decision-making.”
About the NHS Constitution
The NHS Constitution (2009) sets out to NHS patients and staff what they can expect from the NHS in the form of explicit rights drawn from existing legislation and also through a number of pledges and commitments to drive improvements in the health service. It also sets out what NHS patients and staff can do in return to support the NHS in the form of ‘duties’ and expectations.
You can read more about the NHS Constitution at http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
You can see the Myeloma UK response to the Consultation here.
Myeloma UK would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the NHS Constitution Opinion Poll. We will be issuing a patient guide to the NHS Constitution on our website in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you have any questions please call our Policy Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +44 (0)131 557 3332.