Information for the public
Why NICE has written this guidance
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing focus on putting patients at the heart of the NHS, and especially on involving them fully in decisions about their care. An important development was the publication of the NHS Constitution (www.dh.gov.uk/en/DH_132961), which sets out the rights and responsibilities of both patients and healthcare professionals. However, there is still more that can be done to make sure that all NHS patients have the best possible experience of care. This information describes what you should expect when you receive care in the NHS.
The guidance is relevant both to healthcare professionals and to other staff you may come into contact with when using NHS services. Healthcare professionals include people such as doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, dentists, dietitians, healthcare assistants, midwives, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists. Chaplains, domestic staff, porters and receptionists are examples of other staff you may come across.
NICE has also produced a 'quality standard' made up of 14 statements describing high-quality care for patients in the NHS in England. The quality standard, including information summarising the statements, is available at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/QS15.