The Scottish Parliament is calling for views on a number of issues affecting the rights of NHS patients, from treatment times to the ability to make complaints, as it starts its consideration of a new Bill.
The Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill aims to “provide that the health care that patients receive should meet certain criteria, according to a set of health care principles”.
A key part of the Bill is the introduction of a “treatment guarantee time” of 12 weeks.
The Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Government on 17 March. The Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee is now issuing a call for written evidence to inform its consideration of the Bill at Stage 1.
The Bill will legislate for a patient advice and support service and Patient Rights Officers, for a treatment time guarantee, and will establish a right to make complaints.
The main purposes of the Bill are to:
- set out the right of patients receiving health care from the NHS in Scotland;
- introduce a guarantee for eligible patients to start to receive medical treatment within 12 weeks of the treatment being agreed - “the treatment time guarantee”;
- provide for the right of patients to make complaints and provide feedback and for the NHS to support this system. The Bill also creates the position of Patient Rights Officers in health boards across Scotland.
Health and Sport Committee Convener Christine Grahame said: “A wide range of parties, from patients and their families to the medical profession, will be keen to see how this Bill progresses.
“It is vital for the Committee to receive as much information as possible on how people feel about the idea of a treatment time guarantee, the right to complain and all the other points included in the Bill.”
You can now get in touch with the Parliament by text message. Our interactive service enables you to get the name of your MSP by sending your postcode, lets you ask questions about the Parliament and its work, and enables you to request a selection of free leaflets. The number to take advantage of is 07786 209888. Texts are charged at standard network rates. More details can be found on our Text Service page.