The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities (the ‘charter’) summarises what you are entitled to when you use NHS services and receive NHS care in Scotland.


It covers what you can do if you feel that your rights have not been respected.

The charter also explains what is expected of you when using the NHS in Scotland. Some of your responsibilities are set out in law. Others are what everyone is expected to do to help the NHS work effectively.

The charter supports the principle of mutual respect. Everyone who uses and provides NHS services has a right to be treated as an individual and with consideration, dignity and respect.

Patient Charter

The information in the charter is divided into the following areas:

Who can use the charter

The charter is for everyone who accesses and uses NHS services and support in any part of Scotland. That includes patients, their carers, family members and NHS staff.

What is meant by NHS services

Throughout the charter, the terms ‘NHS services’ and ‘NHS staff’ refer to the services provided by your local health board and the staff they employ, special health boards, the Common Services Agency (known as National Services Scotland), and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

This will also normally include those who provide NHS primary care services (for example GP's, dentists, opticians and pharmacists) and their staff.

Publications and alternative formats

This information is available in different formats such as Easy Read and BSL. It has also been translated into different languages (Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Romanian, Urdu).