Changes to the NHS Constitution: Government response to the consultation on new patient rights
The Department of Health published a consultation on new patient rights on 10 November 2009. The consultation closed 5 February 2010.
Over 8,000 people responded to the consultation which involved both local engagement activities carried out by PCTs, and a national consultation process. Following the consultation, a revised NHS Constitution has been published, including a new right to start non-urgent treatment within 18 weeks, and to see a specialist where cancer is suspected within 2 weeks of referral, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer a range of alternative providers where this is not possible. This new right comes into effect on 1 April 2010.