The Dementia Statements, the law and the NHS

How the Dementia Statements relate to human rights and the NHS Well Pathway.

Patient Experience as a legal and NHS requirement

There are numerous legal requirements including:

  • statutory duty to involve people
  • statutory duty to have regard to the need to reduce inequalities (Health and Social Care Act 2012)
  • statutory duty to remove discrimination (Equality Act 2010)
  • statutory duty on both public bodies, and publically-funded services, to promote enjoyment of human rights and avoid discrimination on the grounds of any personal characteristic (Human Rights Act1998).

There are NHS-specific drivers including:

  • Provision of a ‘good experience’ of care for patients: one of the five core domains in The NHS Outcomes Framework. It is seen as a central outcome area for the NHS, just like clinical effectiveness and safety.
  • The NHS Patient Experience Framework makes it clear that measuring experience is about using evidence-based approaches.
  • Healthcare commissioners and service providers have a legal obligation (since the Health Act came into force in January 2010) to take the NHS Constitution, including patient experience, into account in all their decisions and actions.

How do these duties relate to what's in the Dementia Statements?

The sort of information we need to understand how well someone is able to enjoy their human rights and to live free from discrimination, is similar to what we need to know to understand how well someone is able to enjoy their expectations under the Dementia Statements. Qualitative as well as quantitative data is required.


The human rights and legal duties that inform the NHS Constitution, standards and so on, are the same as inform the Dementia Statements. 


Looking to learn about experience in rights-based ways can mean that, the Dementia Statements can offer a common, high level starting point, for consistency across services, while also providing opportunity for services to co-develop questions and indicators specific to their drivers, demographics and local needs.