TheCharter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities summarises what you are entitled to and what is expected of you when you use NHS services and receive NHS care in Scotland. It also explains what you can do if you feel that your rights have not been respected.
The 'Communication and involving' section of the Charter summarises your rights when communicating with the NHS. Some of those rights are outlined below.
Communication and information
When using NHS services, you should be told about:
your health and any care you may need
the names of the NHS staff responsible for your care
how to manage your condition
any medicines you need to take and possible side-effects
the risks and benefits of any treatments and how long you will wait if you have to go to hospital for treatment
You should be provided with information in a way that you can understand and that meets your needs.
When using NHS services, if there’s anything you don’t understand about your condition or treatment you should:
ask staff to explain
tell staff that you need or want more information
You have the right to be provided with communication equipment or support in health services, hospital, the community or at home.
You have the right to recieve support from an independent advocate - a representative who helps you to express your views and make informed decisions. Your mental health officer can arrange this for you.
You can ask NHS staff about help to support you if you have difficulty making and keeping appointments.
When using NHS services, you should be given all the information and time you need to make decisions about your health and care.
You can ask for a second opinion at any time during your care and give preferences about future treatment. These preferences will be taken into account if you can’t make decisions for yourself in the future.
Support when making decisions
You can ask for help and support when making decisions about your healthcare.
When using the NHS services, you can have someone else present at appointments to support you or help you express your views.
When using NHS services, you should be given information about:
your health and any care or treatment you receive
how to stay as healthy as possible
local health services
who is responsible for your care and how to contact them
any support and follow-on care available to you
how to give feedback, comments, raise concerns and complaints
If you're about to leave hospital, NHS staff will write to your GP about your stay in hospital. You can request to see this letter or be provided with a copy.
Refusing care or treatment
When using NHS services, if you can understand the information you're given, and are capable of making decisions about your care, you can accept or refuse:
a test or investigation
If you can’t make a decision for yourself someone else may be able to agree to treatment for you. If there is no-one who can make a decision on your behalf, doctors can treat you if it is in your best interest.
Managing your condition
You should get support when managing your condition. You can expect to be given information about:
how and when to take your medication
how to control pain
how to use any equipment you're provided with
how to access services that would help you
NHS staff must make sure you have been given clear information in a way that you can understand.
It's also important that you take responsibility for your own health and try to have a healthy lifestyle.
To do this you might consider:
asking staff for support in managing your condition