The development of care and treatment: your rights and choices
Sources used to develop Care and treatment: your rights and choices.
The main rights and recommendations in this document are based on information from the following documents and organisations:
- The information strategy: ‘The power of information’
- the NHS Constitution
- the Equality Act 2010
- NICE – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
The information strategy: ‘The power of information’
The information strategy is the Department of Health’s framework for gathering, storing and sharing information for, from and about people using health and social care services. The strategy aims to ensure that information is used to improve your experiences of health and social care and the quality of services. For example, accessing your GP records and booking appointments online, and having more information, so that you can choose the treatment and services that are right for you.
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 who is entitled to NHS services in England.
Find out about NHS services for the rest of the UK: NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, and Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland .
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.
See more about the Equality Act (2010) from the Citizens Advice Bureau .
NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
NICE – the 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: diagnosis and management". This guideline was updated in April 2018.
Although the NICE clinical guidelines are ‘guidance’ (and not ‘the law’), this advice about best practice is produced by experts in the topic, and all its 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. Single TAs look at one ‘technology’ and multiple TAs compare several. Technology appraisals 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 the costs of that ‘technology’.
Information produced: January 2019
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have responsibilities as well as rights.’ Along with your rights to services from the NHS, you have some responsibilities to the NHS too.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘After a suspected seizure, you should be seen by an epilepsy specialist within two weeks.’ This is recommended (and not a legal right) so that suspected epilepsy can be diagnosed and appropriate management can be considered without delay.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘If your seizures are not controlled, or your diagnosis is not clear, you should be referred to tertiary care.’ This is so that you can be seen by someone with expertise in epilepsy, and have access to investigations to help you. This is a recommendation, not a legal right.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to appropriate treatment options, and should have a consistent supply of medication.’ Your specialist should work out what is the best treatment for you, and you should have access to the drugs that they recommend.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You are entitled to NHS dental care and free prescriptions', for your anti-epileptic drugs and any other prescriptions you have.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to be involved in your healthcare and you should have enough information, and appropriate support, so that you can make informed decisions about your health and be an active participant in all decisions about your epilepsy treatment and management.’
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You should have a comprehensive care plan agreed with your healthcare professionals, which should include both medical and lifestyle issues. You should also have an annual review of your epilepsy.’
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to choose who provides your care.’ You can choose which hospital to go to, and can ask for a second opinion about your health condition or treatment.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to access your own health records.’ To help you understand more about your health, you can ask to see your health records.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: "You are entitled to ask for a health and social care assessment". Unpaid carers are also entitled to their own assessment and people with epilepsy, and their carers, may 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.’ People with epilepsy are protected under the Equality Act 2010, which makes discrimination unlawful. This includes discrimination on the basis of disability.
Care and treatment: your rights and choices says: ‘You have a right to complain about services or treatment.’ There are various procedures for doing this, and for taking your complaint further if it is not resolved.