Workers in the National Health Service are bounded by the organization’s constitution. It defines the legal responsibilities and rights of staff members, the organization itself, and those who utilize its services. In addition, it defines non-binding pledges that relate to various key facets of its operations.
The organization’s core principles are based on those developed by its founders on July 5, 1948. They are grounded in the assumption that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, regardless of income. The initial three principles focused on the ability for services to meet the needs of everyone, the services are provided free at their point of delivery, and that they are based on need, rather than the ability to pay.
In July 2000, several modifications were added to the organization’s fundamental mission. They include the ability to provide a full range of services, and that these services are adapted to the individual needs of each patient and her or his family. Another critical element is the ability to respond to the diverse needs of the country’s population. Other components focus on supporting and valuing staff members, keeping people healthy and reducing health inequalities, respecting patient confidentiality, collaborating with others to ensure the best services are provided to patients, and using public funding designated to healthcare solely for patient care. Additionally, the organization should provide access to information about treatments, performance, and services.