Sources for Care and treatment: your rights and choices
Our Care and treatment: your rights and choices information is based on the NHS Constitution, the Handbook to the NHS Constitution, the NICE* clinical guideline on epilepsy and the Equality Act 2010. Some of the information in this document applies to England but may not apply to how the NHS operates in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The NHS Constitution
The NHS Constitution aims to set out clearly what patients, the public, and staff can expect from the NHS and what the NHS expects from them in return. The Constitution includes rights (what you can legally expect), pledges (what the NHS is committed to achieving), and responsibilities (to and from patients, the public, and staff). The Constitution aims to ensure better treatment within, by, and of the NHS. The Constitution applies to everyone entitled to NHS services in England.
The Handbook to the NHS Constitution
The Handbook to the NHS Constitution gives further information and detail about the rights and pledges in the NHS Constitution and what these mean for NHS patients and staff.
Nice clinical guideline on epilepsy
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is the organisation that publishes national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health. It produces guidelines on different health conditions, including the clinical guideline ‘Epilepsies in children, young people, and adults’, which was last updated in April 2022.
Although ‘guidance’ (and not ‘the law’), NICE clinical guidelines give best practice advice, are produced by experts in the topic, and all their information and recommendations are thoroughly researched and based on the best available evidence.
NICE also publishes ‘technology appraisal’ guidance (TAs). This type of guidance evaluates the clinical and cost effectiveness of different medicines, tests, or devices, so that patients receive the best treatments, and the NHS makes the best use of its resources. They are often done for new treatments so that these can be recommended within the NHS. NICE uses evidence for the appraisal, which is reviewed and evaluated by an independent review group to look at the benefits and costs.
NICE healthcare guidance is for England and Wales. Northern Ireland’s Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety uses NICE guidelines where relevant for Northern Ireland. For Scotland see the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) at sign.ac.uk
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 combines nine anti-discrimination laws (including the Disability Discrimination Act) into a single law. It protects people from unfair discrimination and promotes equal opportunities. It also protects people such as carers, who are associated with another person, from discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 covers England, Scotland, and Wales.
Information updated: March 2023
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have responsibilities as well as rights'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says 'After a first seizure, or a seizure after a period of being seizure free, you should see a specialist within two weeks. You have a right to be treated by appropriately qualified and experienced staff.'
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘If your epilepsy is difficult to diagnose or manage, you should be referred to a tertiary service for specialist care and treatment'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to access NHS services and to treatment options that are appropriate for you'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to access NHS dental care' and 'you are entitled to free prescriptions'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to be involved in your health and care and to be given enough information to make informed decisions. Women and girls with epilepsy should be given information and support that is tailored to their needs’.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You should have a care plan agreed with your healthcare professionals, which should include details of your care and support. You should also be able to have reviews of your epilepsy'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to choose who provides your care.'
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to access your own health records.’
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: "You, and your carer if you have one, are entitled to ask for a health and social care assessment.
You may both be entitled to welfare benefits."
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and to not be discriminated against'.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to complain about NHS services or treatment'.