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Using the NHS

Getting the best care from the NHS

Step this way for good and safe healthcare - that works for children and young people!

Your Right NHS Pledge

Thines' story

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Every individual is as important as the last. It doesn’t matter if you are the Prime Minister’s daughter or son. It should be the same level of service, the same quality of care for everyone. No matter who you are or what background or what ethnicity or what disability or condition you have. There should be no difference. 

But the quality of care depends on what GP you’ve got and what kind of access you have. My GP has one lift, and all the services are above the ground floor. I called them up and said ‘look, your lift is broken, I’m downstairs’. They were like ‘we apologise for the inconvenience, you can either come back tomorrow, or if things get worse go to A&E or call an ambulance. It’s like yeah but I don’t want things to get worse. I feel like any other person had gone in, they would have got that treatment. I just went home. I know from experience that if I don’t get treated it will get worse. The patient that you do send away, they have to live with that, I have to live with that.

To know that there are GPs and nurses who are able to see me, but they are not willing to see me just purely because I can’t get up a few flights of stairs - that just makes me furious.

I in my day-to-day life ignore my disability, my friends ignore my disability, my family ignore my disability. But I often find in the NHS, you know, every time that I mention it to someone it affects the way they treat me. I’m sort of being treated differently, being seen differently, being spoken to differently. Please don’t do that, just talk to me as if I am normal person - because that’s what I am! I want the NHS to help me forget that I have a disability at all. I want to be treated as my own person, that’s all part and parcel of what patients expect and what patients should get. And it’s enshrined in my rights as a patient.

What do NHS staff say?

"Its helpful for me if young people know what their rights are."

Dr Duncan Law
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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For me, like all conditions, it's helpful for me if young people know what their rights are. Because working in a mental health setting, fundamentally it's about working together. So if a young person knows their rights and I know them, or may forget about some of them, then the young person can help me understand them better and understand what's really important to them.

Children in care

If you are in care the NHS needs to make sure you stay healthy. A doctor will talk to you about your health within 4 weeks of entering care. After this you will be given a Health Care Plan that will make sure you get all the healthcare support you need. The LAC nurse should explain what is in the Health Care Plan and what it means for you. You should be involved in the planning of your plan.


What about mental health?

These rights apply to mental health services, but there maybe rules about how you can access the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services. You can find out more about CAMHS here.

What about my parents and carers?

Your mum, dad or carers can help you use NHS services. But if you want to go by yourself, you can, and the NHS will help you do this. If you have to stay in hospital, you should be able to see your parents and carers as much as you want.

For more information about your rights click here.