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Patient Rights

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.

The Act:

  • Places a duty on Scottish Ministers to publish a Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities. This document will bring together, in one place, a summary of the rights and responsibilities that patients have when using NHS services.
  • Gives all patients the right that the health care they receive should:
    • consider their needs;
    • consider what would be of optimum benefit to them;
    • encourage them to take part in decisions about their health and wellbeing, and provide information and support for them to do so; and
    • have a right to give feedback (both positive and negative) or comments, or raise concerns or complaints about the health care they have received.
  • Confirms the creation of the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) and outlines requirements of NHS Boards to engage with this framework. PASS will:
    • provide information and help patients and members of the public to know and understand their rights and responsibilities when using health services;
    • help and support patients to give feedback about their healthcare; and
    • where necessary, direct people to other types of support, such as advocacy or communication support services.
  • Places emphasis on all forms of patient feedback, other than complaints, about NHS services. NHS bodies will have a duty to encourage patient feedback.
  • Enhances the patient's rights to complain. The NHS complaints policy will be updated to reflect this. Patients can not only expect complaints will be fully investigated against agreed timescales and to receive a response to the complaint but they will also receive and have an opportunity to discuss an outline of any improvement actions required.
  • Requires NHS Boards to nominate a Complaints and Feedback Officer who will be formally required to provide the Board with a quarterly feedback report outlining management of complaints and progress against feedback actions.
  • Sets out regulations to support the provisions in relation to the 12-week Treatment Time Guarantee (TTG), ensuring patients are treated within 12 weeks from the date that the treatment is agreed.

Download a copy of The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities revised June 2019.

You can view the Patients’ Rights Act here.

For more information, you may like to have a look at the Health Rights Information Scotland website.

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