Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities for People who use the NHS in Scotland - Consultation report

The Consultation report provides details of the findings of the consultation on the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for people who use the NHS in Scotland and action taken as a result of the consultation.

2. Introduction

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 24February 2011, and gained Royal Assent on 31 March 2011. The aim of the Act is to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.

The Act requires Scottish Ministers to publish a Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities (‘the Charter’) setting out a summary of the rights and responsibilities for anyone who uses the NHS in Scotland. The Charter does not introduce any new rights rather it sets out the existing rights and responsibilities including those introduced by the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act.

The Charter is in three parts. Patient Rights and Responsibilities are set out in Part1, which is split into six sections. This covers Access, Communication and Participation, Confidentiality, Respect, Safety, and Feedback and Complaints. Part 2 explains what to do in the event that rights have not been respected. Part 3 provides advice and signposting for further information and support.

The Charter will be laid before the Scottish Parliament prior to its launch on 1 October 2012. The Charter, a summary version and a series of seven supporting factsheets (Access, Communication and Participation, Confidentiality, Respect, Safety, Hospital Waiting Times, and Feedback and Complaints) will be available from Health Rights Information Scotland ( and the Scottish Government website at from October 2012. The factsheets will provide further information about what the rights and responsibilities in the Charter mean for people using the NHS. It is also a requirement to review and update the Charter at least once every five years.

On 2 April 2012 the Scottish Government launched a consultation seeking views on a draft of the Charter. The consultation sought views on six questions which focused on the content, accessibility, design, availability, the balance of rights and responsibilities and general views on the draft.

The consultation document was sent directly to 82 organisations and individuals, and was available on the Scottish Government website. Of the 82 recipients, 38responded to the consultation. The 12 week consultation period ended on 25June 2012 but an extension to 4 July was given. A total of 63responses were received by the 4 July. Four responses received after this date from 2 individuals and 2 organisations have been taken into account in the review of the Charter.

Consultation exercises aim to elicit the views and experiences of a wide range of stakeholders. The nature of the submissions varied with some respondents providing comment on some but not all of the questions and others provided more detailed comments on sections of the proposals that were of interest to them. In some instances comments received were relevant to more than one question.

The findings are specific to the consultation exercise and do not necessarily reflect the weight or range of views within the population as a whole. The nature of the consultation and the small number of responses does not necessarily support the presentation of the findings in a quantitive way. We have presented results in percentage form, where possible, but have sought to focus on the qualitative findings.

We have attempted to provide further explanation within the report about the proposals where we felt respondents needed more information or clarity around the intention.


Email: Sandra Falconer

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