Introduction and background to the Charter
This consultation seeks your views on the draft Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter), which will be laid before the Scottish Parliament and published by 1 October 2012.
The Charter is introduced by The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011, which requires Ministers to publish a Charter setting out a summary of the rights and responsibilities of patients and other relevant people.
The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve peoples' experiences of using health services, and to enable them to become more involved in their health and decisions about their health care. It supports the NHSScotland Quality Strategy ambition for a person-centred NHS, with mutually beneficial partnerships between patients, their families and those delivering health care services.
More detailed information about the Act can be found online at:
Purpose of the Charter
The Charter is an information document for patients and members of the public which sets out what you can expect when you use NHS services and receive NHS care in Scotland. It also details what the NHS in Scotland expects of you in return; to help it work effectively and make sure its resources are used responsibly.
There will be other information available to support the Charter such as a leaflet summarising the information in the Charter, fact sheets that provide practical examples of the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Charter, information for staff and information in alternative formats will be available on request.
Scope of the Charter
The Charter does not introduce any new rights and responsibilities. Rather, it summarises existing rights and responsibilities at the time of drafting. These are drawn from a number of sources, including the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.
Some of these rights describe the services you can expect from the NHS in Scotland, and some describe the way you can expect to be treated.
The Charter will be reviewed at least once every five years: we will consider whether it needs to be updated, and seek feedback on how useful the Charter is to patients and members of the public.
Development of the Charter
The Scottish Government has worked with Health Rights Information Scotland to develop the Charter. An advisory group provided guidance on the proposed format of the Charter, and a detailed source document, covering the full range of rights and responsibilities existing in legislation, was composed.
Members of the advisory group commented on an early draft of the Charter, and a period of user testing was carried out. Feedback from these groups has allowed us to produce this draft Charter for consultation.
Availability of the Charter
The Charter, and supporting information, will be published online. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 says that Health Boards must make copies available to patients, staff and members of the public, and we are keen to hear how this can best be achieved.
Email: Patient Rights Team
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