Search Legislation

Health Act 2009

Part 1.Quality and Delivery of NHS Services in England

Chapter 1 - NHS Constitution

12.The Interim Report published in October 2007 set out the case for an NHS Constitution. This was said to be

to enshrine the values of the NHS and increase local accountability to patients and public.

13.On 30 June 2008, the Department of Health published A Consultation on the NHS Constitution(4). The NHS Constitution and the Handbook to the Constitution were published on 21 January 2009(5).

14.The sections of the Act on the NHS Constitution set out duties of specified bodies involved in the provision, commissioning or regulation of NHS care and of other persons providing NHS services under contracts or arrangements. The Act provides that those bodies are to have regard to the NHS Constitution, and for the Secretary of State to review the NHS Constitution at least every ten years, after consultation with patients and bodies representing patients, the public, staff and bodies representing staff, carers and local authorities. The Act also provides that the Secretary of State must revise the accompanying Handbook to the NHS Constitution at least every three years. The Secretary of State must also report on the effect of the NHS Constitution on patients, the public, staff and carers every three years.


Department of Health (2008). The National Health Service Constitution – A Draft for Consultation, July 2008. Department of Health, London.


Department of Health (2009). The NHS Constitution for England, 21 January 2009. Department of Health, London. Available at:

Department of Health (2009). The Handbook to the NHS Constitution for England, 21 January 2009. Department of Health, London. Available at: [2]

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources