Eczema bill of rights
Date: Mar 2020
We all have rights as people living in England. In order to ensure that you’re having your rights respected, however, it’s important that you know what they are in the first place.
The NHS has set out a specific bill of rights for people living with atopic eczema in order to give them a voice in decisions about their care - outlining what they can expect from the health service.
On the whole, the rights you have as an eczema patient aren’t that different to the ones other patients have. Fundamentally, the NHS wants all patients to be as informed as possible and feel like their voices matter in the care and treatment that they receive. With eczema, however, there are a few unique points specific to the kinds of drugs and referrals that you're entitled to.
The point of these written rights is to make sure that you are receiving the highest quality of care possible and that you’re informed about what’s available to you. Unhappy with the treatments you’re receiving? You can feed that back to your HCP. Want to try a different drug that’s been recommended by NICE for the treatment of eczema? That’s your right - and your GP shouldn’t refuse you.
Once you know what’s there for the taking, you’ll not only feel more in control about your condition but you’ll also be able to more an active role in your treatment plan.
Every eczema patient has the right to:
- Make informed choices about where you receive care: including the right to choose your GP and be accepted unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal
- Choose to attend any NHS hospital that offers dermatology services or a private hospital if you’re referred
- Be given information about available treatments and tests for eczema
- Request a second opinion from another specialist or GP: if you don’t think your condition is being managed appropriately or you disagree with your diagnosis, you can ask to see someone else (although you can’t choose who exactly that is)
- Start your consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks after being referred by your GP: if you need to be referred to a specialist dermatologist, you should be seen by them within that timeframe
- Receive appropriate treatment and care for your eczema: this means that your views should be taken into account by your HCP, and what you need from treatment (whether that’s help with the mental health ramifications, help to return to work etc)
- Be involved in the planning and making decisions about your eczema care and treatment: that includes the chance to self-manage and making sure you have all the information to make the informed choice about your health
- Have drugs and treatment recommended by NICE for adults with eczema: you shouldn’t be refused any treatment that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended for treating eczema.
- Accept or refuse treatment and not be subjected to any physical examinations or treatment without your consent
- Provide feedback on your care: if you’re unhappy with the care you received, you have a right to say so!
- Have transparent and accessible data on the quality of your local healthcare providers
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Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 18 March 2020
Next review: 18 March 2023