NHS Constitution and EDI

In 2009 the NHS Constitution was launched to establish the principles and values of the NHS in England” (Department of Health, 2012). This Constitution sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve.

The first of its seven principles is of particular relevance to the equality and inclusion agenda as the following extract demonstrates:


The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.  It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights.  At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population."


The seven principles are underpinned by a set of six values. Again one of these is directly relevant to the E&D agenda, as follows:


"Everyone Counts. We [will] use our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded or left behind.  We accept that some people need more help, that difficult decisions have to be taken – and that when we waste resources we waste others’ opportunities.  We recognise that we all have a part to play in making ourselves and our communities healthier."


To read more and access other examples of where the NHS Constitution is relevant to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion visit Extracts from the NHS Constitution.

Back to Equality Diversity and Inclusion.