Supporting the rights of patients, families and carers

“It's important that everyone within St Andrew's, including its senior leaders, listens to people who use our services. So we work with patients, carers, friends and families to improve how we work."

Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and spoken to politely.


We have guiding documents such as:

These help us to listen to patients and to respect everyone’s rights and responsibilities.


How am I expected to behave towards other people?

We expect all of our visitors to treat patients and staff wtih respect. St Andrew's will refer incidents of racism, homophobia or other inappropriate behaviour to the police and/or other appropriate authorities. We will also take internal action against staff using unacceptable behaviour.


What other rights do I have as a patient?

Patients' rights include:

  • privacy during personal care
  • to be treated as an individual
  • to be called by the name you prefer
  • to be as independent as possible
  • to be able to take part in meaningful activity
  • to feel safe, including from bullying
  • to have a healthy, good quality diet
  • to have high quality physical and mental healthcare
  • to be informed and involved in decisions about your treatment and care, including choice and medication 
  • to be allowed to see your health records
  • to see a lawyer
  • to talk to someone independent from St Andrew's to speak on their behalf (advocacy)
  • to be able to talk to a staff member of the same sex as themselves about health problems.

Our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy sets out our commitments to providing services that meet patients’ personal diverse needs fairly. A number of policies provide staff with detailed guidance on how to meet patients’ needs.

Everyone has the right to be safe and free from abuse, breaches of human rights and discrimination. We use safeguarding approaches, including working with external organisations, to help us to do this. Find out more here.

In addition we provide education and learning opportunities for patients, service users and staff to learn together about everyone’s rights and responsibilities in practice and to help improve things where possible.

We work with expert organisations and groups, such as Stonewall, the National Autistic Society and the Northants Learning Disability Partnership, to help us to learn from best practice and keep improving how we meet patients’ needs.  Find out more...


What St Andrew’s should do when something goes wrong with your healthcare (“duty of candour”)

We think it is very important that staff are open and honest with patients and their relatives if something goes wrong with the patient’s care. Staff should

  • ensure we all act in open, honest and transparent ways with patients and their relatives
  • tell the patient/relative (as appropriate) as soon as possible if a safety incident has occurred, including what it was
  • provide the patient/relative with any necessary support
  • offer an apology in writing
  • look into what went wrong and to learn from what went wrong so that it doesn’t happen again
  • share information that they have found out with the patient/relative (as appropriate); tell the patient/relative (as appropriate) what they are going to do to stop the problem happening again and follow this up in writing.
  • offer the patient/relative (as appropriate) a meeting to talk about what went wrong.

Directors are responsible for the overall quality and safety of care


What rights do I have as a carer, family or friend of a patient?

You have rights not to be discriminated against:

  • because of your own personal characteristic (such as ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation)
  • because of the personal characteristics of the patient you care for or are visiting.

You may have special rights under the Mental Health Act if you are the official 'nearest relative' of the patient.

In addition, our Carers, Families and Friends Strategy sets out our commitments to you.

We provide opportunities for carers to be involved and supported. You can find out more on our carers web pages.


What is monitoring of equality and diversity and why does St Andrew’s do it?

St Andrew’s has legal duties to monitor the diversity of people who use its services and the staff who provide them. This is because research has shown that understanding the diversity of groups of people can help to provide services that are sensitive to people’s diverse needs, inclusive and accessible. You do not have to answer these questions, but if you do tell us this may help us to keep improving our services. Your confidentiality and dignity will be protected and our records to do with this will follow the rules of the Data Protection Act and our Information Governance and Confidentiality policies.


What is diversity care planning?

We recognise fairness rmeans we must respond to personal preferences. This might, for example, include your sexual orientation, keeping in touch with your culture or, with agreement of your care team, supporting you to access community events and volunteering.  All staff members train in equality and diversity when they join us, and then at least annually.  Staff who help with care plans will ask about things in ways that protect confidentiality and dignity. Your care plan is part of your health record. We will manage it following the rules of the Data Protection Act and our Information Governance and Confidentiality policies.