News story

Expert group to oversee strengthening of NHS Constitution

The proposed strengthening of the NHS Constitution will be overseen by an expert group.

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

The proposed strengthening of the NHS Constitution will be overseen by an expert group chaired by Minister of State for Care Services Norman Lamb.

The group’s role will be to:

  • oversee the consultation on strengthening the NHS Constitution, launched on 5 November, and ensure that the revised Constitution reflects the responses received
  • develop a set of proposals to give the NHS Constitution greater traction so that patients, staff and the public are clear what to do, and who to turn to, when their expectations under the Constitution are not met

Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

“The NHS Constitution is an incredibly important document, setting out patients’ rights and reinforcing the values of the NHS.

“Yet too few patients are aware of it, too few staff are aware of its contents, and evidence of its use is scarce. We want to change this. This new group brings together powerful minds to look at how we can give the Constitution real teeth. We will make sure that patients are aware of their rights and what to do if their expectations of the NHS are not met.”

The membership of the new expert group is based on the membership of the previous NHS Future Forum working group on the Constitution, which provided advice on how the Constitution could be strengthened. Additional members representing organisations with statutory duties to promote the Constitution and who have expertise in complaints and redress have been invited to join this group.


  • Mr Norman Lamb MP (Chair) - Minister of State for Care and Support
  • Dr Charles Alessi - Senior GP Partner, The Churchill Practice
  • Ms Vicky Bailey - CEO Principle CCG
  • Ms Anna Bradley - Chair, Healthwatch England
  • Ms Sally Brearley - Patient Representative and lay member, National Quality Board
  • Mr Howard Catton - Head of Policy and International, Royal College of Nursing
  • Mr Shaun Clee - CEO 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Jocelyn Cornwell - Director, Point of Care Programme, Kings Fund
  • Ms Jane Cummings - Director of Nursing, NHS North of England SHA Cluster
  • Dr Vin Diwaker - Medical Director, Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Professor Steve Field - Deputy National Medical Director (Health Inequalities), NHS Commissioning Board
  • Dr Jennifer Harries - Joint Director of Public Health, NHS Norfolk & Waveney Cluster and Norfolk County Council
  • Dr Peter Hay - President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
  • Ms Brenda Hennessey - Director of Patient Experience & Public Engagement, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Fund Trust
  • Ms Jo Lenaghan - Director of Policy, National Quality Team
  • Ms Christina McAnea - Co-chair of Social Partnership Forum; National Secretary for Health, Unison
  • Dr Vivienne McVey - Commercial Director, Virgin Care
  • Dr Hamish Meldrum - General Practitioner and former Chairman of the British Medical Association
  • Dame Julie Mellor - Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman
  • Sir Keith Pearson - Chair, Health Education England
  • Mr Ash Soni - Community Pharmacist, and Clinical Network Lead, NHS Lambeth
  • Mr Jason Stamp - Strategic patient and public involvement and lay member
  • Mr Jeremy Taylor - Chief Executive, National Voices
  • Mr Stephen Thornton - Chief Executive, The Health Foundation
  • Ms Paula Vasco-Knight - Chief Executive, South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Member of Equality and Diversity Councils
Published 17 January 2013