YOUR RIGHTS WHEN DEALING WITH THE NHS

You have the right to use NHS services without being discriminated against, for example because of your age or a disability

You have the right to see a specialist within 18 weeks of your doctor referring you for a non-urgent problem, or to be offered a suitable alternative if that isn’t possible

You have the right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks of an urgent referral from your doctor

You have the right to be given information about your treatment options, including what they involve and the risks and benefits

You have the right to receive drugs and treatments that have been nationally approved by the NHS, if your doctor says they are right for you

You have the right to receive care from qualified and experienced staff working in a safe environment

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. You have the right to privacy and to refuse any physical examination or treatment.

You have the right to be involved in discussions and decision about your healthcare. You should have things clearly and fully explained to you so that you understand any decision made. If you’re not able to agree to a decision, the NHS must consult someone legally able to act on your behalf – see Power of attorney for more information on appointing someone to make decisions for you.

You have the right to be told how information about you will be used, and to expect it to be kept secure. You also have the right to see your own health records and have any mistakes corrected.

Choice of Doctor

You have the right to register with a doctor’s surgery of your choice if you live in its catchment area and it has space for new patients. If there are reasonable grounds for refusing you, you should be told what these are.

You have the right to ask to see a named doctor at your surgery. Where possible, they should try to accommodate this.

You have the right to ask for a second opinion about your health from a specialist or another doctor. You don’t have a right to receive a second opinion, but you won’t usually be refused one.

If your doctor wants to refer you to a specialist, you have the right to choose which clinic or hospital you go to for this treatment. This choice should be offered to you when the doctor is referring you to the specialist. You can use the NHS website to compare feedback on different hospitals and consultants.