Consultation outcome

Improving the NHS Constitution

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

A summary of the government’s response, including details of text changes to the NHS Constitution as a result of the consultation.

Original consultation


Seeks comments on proposals to strengthen the content of the NHS Constitution.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The NHS, patients and the public are being asked to comment on proposals to improve the NHS Constitution.

The main changes proposed cover:

  • a new responsibility for staff to treat patients not only with the highest standards of care, but also with compassion, dignity and respect
  • a new commitment to make sure that patients can sleep in single sex wards
  • a new commitment to patients that NHS staff will be open and honest with them if things go wrong, or if mistakes happen - this ‘duty of candour’ will become a condition in the NHS Standard Contract from April 2013

The consultation follows work carried out by the NHS Future Forum on how the constitution could be improved.


A consultation on strengthening the NHS Constitution

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Published 5 November 2012
Last updated 26 March 2013 + show all updates
  1. Added consultation response.
  2. First published.