The NHS values

If you're applying for a job either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to demonstrate the values of the NHS Constitution and how they would apply in your everyday work. 

If you're applying for a university course such as nursing you'll also be tested on your values. 

This is why is it so important for you to think about how you demonstrate the values in your applications and interviews. You may want to think about work experience or volunteering you have done or experiences from your personal life such as helping friends or family. 

The values

So what are the values? There are six values that all staff – everyone from porters, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics and gardeners to secretaries, consultants, healthcare scientists and phlebotomists – are expected to demonstrate:

  • working together for patients. Patients come first in everything we do
  • respect and dignity. We value every person – whether patient, their families or carers, or staff – as an individual, respect their aspirations and commitments in life, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits
  • commitment to quality of care. We earn the trust placed in us by insisting on quality and striving to get the basics of quality of care – safety, effectiveness and patient experience right every time
  • compassion. We ensure that compassion is central to the care we provide and respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need
  • improving lives. We strive to improve health and wellbeing and people’s experiences of the NHS
  • everyone counts. We maximise our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded, discriminated against or left behind.

Test your values with an e-tool

Health Education England has a free online tool to champion the values and behaviours of the NHS. The tool will show you some videos of staff working in various situations and ask you questions about how you would have handled the same situation. You'll then get an assessment report to show you how you've done. 

Try out the tool for yourself. 

Patients and people using NHS services

For patients and the people who use NHS services, the NHS Constitution reiterates that:

  • the NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all
  • access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay
  • the NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism
  • the NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does
  • the NHS works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population
  • the NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources
  • the NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves.

Further information

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