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NHS Constitution

The NHS 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 achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patient and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

All NHS bodies and private and third sector providers supplying NHS services are required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.

The NHS belongs to us all

Your Choice of Provider

You have the right to choose the organisation that provides your NHS care when you are referred for your first outpatient appointment, with a service led by a consultant.

Link to NHS Choices

You can choose the hospital with the best reputation or shortest waiting times, or simply the one that is most convenient for you. Perhaps you'll want to go somewhere away from home but close to your family. Perhaps good parking facilities are vital for you. Waiting lists, cleanliness, reputation... these can all be considered in your decision. The choice is yours.

NHS Choices is a website that can help you when making your choice. It allows you to select a wide range of different hospitals and compare them on the criteria that matter most to you.

Find and compare hospitals by selecting this link now.

You do not have to make the decision yourself. If you prefer, your GP can still make the choice for you and recommend a hospital for your treatment.

You may not be given a choice if referred to mental health services, obstetrics services or where speed of access is important, such as suspected stroke, heart attack or cancer. Not all hospitals treat every medical condition and in some cases patients may need to be referred to a more specialised service.

Shared Decision Making

What is Shared Decision Making?

No decision about me, without me" is the fundamental principle underpinning many of the current changes in NHS healthcare, and it embodies the movement to promote patient centred care and increase patient choice.  Shared decision making is a process in which patients are encouraged to participate in selecting appropriate treatments or management options  Shared decision making relies on two sources of expertise:

The patient is an expert on themself, their social circumstances, attitudes to illness and risk, values and preferences.

The health professional is an expert on the effectiveness, probable benefits and potential harms of treatment options  

Effective strategies for enhancing the ability of patients and professionals to participate in shared decision making are:

  • Action planning and goal setting  
  • Structured one-to-one, or group support for patients
  • Training to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals
  • The use of decision aids

Shared Decision Making in Eastern Cheshire

For increased shared decision making to become a reality we are working on two specific areas:

  • Decision Assisted Tools - (Patient Decision Aids (PDAs) are designed to help patients make difficult decisions about their treatments and medical tests. They are used when there is no clinical evidence to suggest that one treatment is better than another and patients need help in deciding which option will be best for them)  Click Here for More Information
  • Self Care

Self Care

There is a need for more approaches that support patients to have the confidence, information and support to participate in decisions about their health and healthcare;[1]structured self-management support is one such intervention. We commissioned the Talking Health Network to support the systematic implementation of shared decision making processes for people living with long-term conditions across the CCG.A cross representative project group oversaw the creation of a bespoke Road Map, or framework that provides a guide to embedding self-care and self-management in Eastern Cheshire.

The Road Map provides details of:

  • Existing self-care and self-management support available across the CCG
  • A menu of recommended self-care support for people living with long-term conditions
  • health care professionals and staff – based upon identified needs and existing evidence
  • A compendium of existing and potential providers of self-care and self-management support
  • Methodology for estimating the cost benefit of interventions
  • An outline of the infrastructure and resources needed to implement identified self-care support.

[1] The Health Foundation. Helping People Share Decision Making – a review of evidence considering whether shared decision making is worthwhile. June 2012.