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The development of care and treatment: your rights and choices

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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 ScotlandNHS 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

Referral to tertiary care

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.

Comprehensive care plan

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.’

Choice of care

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.

Freedom from discrimination

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.

Our care and treatment: your rights and choices leaflet

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Download Care and treatment: your rights and choices.

Alternatively, our quick guide Care and treatment: your rights and choices summarises the key points.