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Relationships, Rights, and Responsibilities: (Re)viewing the NHS Constitution for the post-pandemic ‘new normal’

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E-pub ahead of print
  • Caroline A B Redhead
  • Sara Fovargue
  • Lucy Frith
  • Anna Chiumento
  • Heather Draper
  • Paul B Baines
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/08/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Medical Law Review
Number of pages26
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Action needs to be taken to map out the fairest way to meet the needs of all NHS stakeholders in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’. In this article, we review the NHS Constitution, looking at it from a relational perspective and suggesting that it offers a useful starting point for such a project, but that new ways of thinking are required to accommodate the significant changes the pandemic has made to the fabric of the NHS. These new ways of thinking should encompass concepts of solidarity, care, and (reciprocal) responsibility, grounded in an acceptance of the importance of relationships in society. To this end, we explore and emphasise the importance of our interconnections as NHS stakeholders and ‘re-view’ the NHS Constitution from a relational perspective, concentrating on the rights and responsibilities it describes for patients and the public as NHS stakeholders. We argue that the NHS Constitution, of which most stakeholders are probably unaware, can be used as a tool to engage us, and to catalyse conversation about how our responsibilities as NHS stakeholders should change in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’.