What are patient rights?
When you receive treatment from a medical professional you have a set of patient rights that must be adhered to throughout your treatment.
One of your rights is to receive the duty of care owed to you, which is a commitment that all medical professionals legally make.
Every medical staff member who advises you or provides treatment has this duty to you, legally and morally and regardless of whether they are a privately paid professional or an employee of the NHS.
However, the exact documentation that outlines your patient rights can vary depending on whether you're a private patient or being treated by the NHS.
NHS patient rights
When you receive care from the NHS, including from GPs and dentists, your rights are outlined by the NHS constitution. This document protects your right to:
- Access NHS healthcare
- Respect, confidentiality and informed consent
- A professional quality of care
- Complain, and, where medical negligence has occurred, claim compensation
Private patient rights
If you received private medical treatment or care then you're protected by the health professionals' codes, including the General Medical Council's Code of Conduct.
Can you make a medical negligence claim?
If you think the standard of care you received has fallen short of your rights and the duty of care you deserve, then you may be able to make a claim.
The idea of making a claim can feel daunting, and you may not feel ready to start one - that's where we can help.
With over 25 years' experience, we can help you understand if you can make a medical negligence claim by giving you free, impartial advice based on your experience. We promise never to rush you into claiming either, so you won't be pressured when you contact us.
Making a formal complaint
Both the NHS and any private healthcare providers are obliged to have an official complaints procedure.
If you're not happy with the care you've received, you can make a complaint. And if you're complaining to the NHS you can request a formal apology and explanation.
If you need any help or advice on making a formal complaint, you can contact patient rights groups such as Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA).
Or our legally trained advisors are on hand to help you make it right and advise you on .