Patients Rights and Responsibilities

Patients have the right to expect us to: –

  • work towards improving everyone’s health;
  • provide a universal service for everyone based on need;
  • provide treatment which is safe and effective, based on the best available evidence;
  • communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families and carers;
  • listen to the views and concerns of patients
  • treat patients with dignity and respect
  • understand the wants and needs of patients in order to improve the quality of services
  • inform and involve patients in all decisions about their care and treatment; 
  • provide information about services and treatment; and
  • Respect patients’ rights to privacy, dignity and confidentiality.

In return, patients have a responsibility to: –

  • Be on time for appointments and tell the clinic, practice or hospital if you cannot keep your appointment.
  • Treat healthcare staff politely and with respect.

Healthcare staff have demanding jobs to do, often under stressful circumstances. Help them by treating them considerately. Violence or racial, sexual or verbal abuse is completely unacceptable.

Follow the advice and treatment you receive

Try to follow any advice given to you. If you are worried about doing this, discuss it with the person giving you the advice at the time.


Make sure that your doctor, dentist or any hospital or clinic you are going to has up-to-date information about how to contact you.


Try to take any medicine which is prescribed and finish the course of treatment. Do not take medicine which is out of date, and give old medicine to your pharmacist to get rid of.

Pass on your comments to healthcare staff

Improving services is helped if the people providing them know what you think about the services. Help staff by filling in surveys if you are asked to, and use any other ways of providing feedback.

Using emergency services

Only use emergency services in a real emergency. Don’t forget that there will be seriously ill people who need to use these services.

Self care

Look after your own health.