On the whole, National Voices welcomes the proposed amendments to the content of the NHS Constitution.
However, there are a number of ways that the amendments could be strengthening further, to provide greater clarity in relation to key agendas upon which the Government has already expressed its support at policy level.
We are calling for:
a right to care planning for those who will need to use services over time
recognition of the role of advice and advocacy in enabling patient involvement
every NHS Trust to have systematic, frequent and comprehensive patient experience measurement
a statutory duty of candour
the wording on integration to reflect the Narrative being developed with the NHS Commissioning Board and the Local Government Association
clear articulation of the need for integrated working with other services, such as social care and housing
one simple and clear route of complaint and appeal for patients
common standards in care records
training to support new staff in delivering duties on patient involvement, health inequalities and public health
a commitment to move parity of esteem beyond the rhetoric by referencing mental health pathways within the document (e.g. equal applicability of the 18 week waiting time pledge to both physical and mental health)
all letters to a patient to be addressed to that patient, and copied to the GP or other consultants as necessary