Patients’ Charter

Patients’ Charter

A UK Department of Health plan implemented under PM John Majors’ Conservative government in 1991, which delineated patients’ rights to primary care, treatment in hospital or the community, ambulance, dental, optical, pharmaceutical and maternity services.

The Charter was widely criticised for failing to deliver promised results—e.g., regarding same sex wards, catering services, the hospital environment, etc.—which the the- understaffed NHS could not deliver, resulting in wide patient dissatisfaction. The Patients’ Charter initiative was subsequently abandoned in 1997 by the Labour government.