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NHS Constitution is “patchy, low key, and inconsistent,” says review

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7494 (Published 06 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7494
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The government must do more to publicise the NHS Constitution among the public as well as NHS staff and give the document “more teeth” by defining more clearly what people in England can do when they do not get their rights, says an independent group of experts.

In a letter to the health secretary dated 31 October, Steve Field, head of the NHS Future Forum, said that the forum working group’s consultation with many NHS organisations, patients, staff groups, and charities led it to conclude that there was “a striking degree of consensus” on the constitution and its objectives.1

But he added, “Despite the importance and potential of the NHS Constitution, its effect so far has been patchy, low key, and inconsistent. It has failed to have the impact required to influence the quality …

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