NHS constitution

Since coming into power in 1997 the Labour Party has dramatically increased the funding available for the National Health Service.

Demonstrating how the NHS is safe in the hands of a Labour government, there has been an average annual increase of 6.7% in resources since 1999. However, we cannot be content to rest on our laurels, and this is why we are continually adapting and improving the service.

With this in mind Labour has turned the time targets which have improved the delivery of vital medical services into legally enforceable rights. The NHS constitution sets out what professionals, patients and the public can expect from the NHS.

Since April 1st of this year, patients have had the legally enforceable right to be seen by a specialist within 2 weeks if they are expected to have cancer. Further to this, over the next five years the Labour Party will deliver its commitment to provide diagnosis for suspected lung, colorectal or ovarian cancer within a week, which could save up to 10,000 lives per year.

The Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, commented:

“As the NHS continues to improve, so will its Constitution – that is why we are already looking ahead at future rights. We want patients to have the legal right to key diagnostic tests and results for patients who may have cancer within one week of seeing a GP, to die at home, to evening and weekend access to GPs, and to access to NHS dentistry.

“As the NHS strives to move from good to great and becomes more people-centred and preventative, the Constitution will ensure that all the improvements it makes can be safeguarded for generations to come.”

Details of the rights you are entitled to as a patient of the NHS can be found on the NHS website, and if you wish to support this initiative then you can pledge your support at www.votenhs.com.