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Your rights as a patient

When you need medical treatment it can be worrying and exhausting. If you are not feeling at your best you may not feel like complaining, or making suggestions about how your care could be improved. And perhaps you feel that the doctors and nurses 'know best' and don't want to challenge them or ask them questions.

Anyone receiving medical treatment can expect to be treated with professionalism, courtesy and respect by all the staff with whom they come into contact - not just the doctors and nurses.

And you should always feel that you can ask questions about what is happening to you, make suggestions about the care you receive, and choose what treatment you receive and how you receive it.

Apart from in exceptional circumstances you should always be allowed to give consent to any medical treatment you receive before it is provided to you.

The NHS  website provides information on consent, and explains when it might be necessary for medical professionals to treat people without first getting consent from them.

If you wish to make a comment about the service you receive, you should feel free to do so. Your comments may help a service to improve and to learn from any mistakes made. You may prefer to ask a relative or friend to feed back comments on your behalf.

The NHS website provides information on how to make a complaint about a health care service, and how to make a complaint to PALS about the care you receive in hospital.
The site also allows you to rate and comment on all NHS services which you use.

The Care Quality Commission regularly inspect and report on all health and social care services in Britain. Their website allows you to pass on feedback about any care services you have used, and tells you how to make a complaint about services.

Healthwatch Central West London is an independent charity and membership organisation working to ensure your voice counts when it comes to shaping and improving local health and care services.
You can have your say about the local health and social care services in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

The Citizens Advice Bureau website contains detailed information on all of your rights as a patient, and your rights when being treated by the NHS.

Many of your rights as a patient are detailed in the NHS Constitution.

You can find out more about your rights as a mental health patient on our pages about The Mental Health Act, Deprivation of liberty, and the Mental Capacity Act, and in our main section on Mental health.

You may also find the following pages useful: