On Tuesday government ministers announced that NHS Patients will now have their rights enshrined in the NHS Constitution. This means that all NHS organizations are legally obliged to provide drugs that have been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and treat all patients with dignity and respect in their choice of location.

The James Whale Fund for Kidney cancer believes the constitution is a step in the right direction and is particularly interested in the clause that ensures all patients will get the drugs they need. Since Kidney Cancer is a type of cancer which cannot be treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Once kidney cancer spreads, then these medications are the only hope left for most of these patients.

Rose Woodward, head of patient support at The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer and a survivor of kidney cancer said, "I think the NHS constitution is a great first step to recognising the real sense of ownership a lot of patients feel towards the NHS. We feel passionately about our local hospitals and the clinicians & nurses who look after us. But sometimes patients can feel lost because the NHS is such a huge machine with a life of its own, so many different organisations, each with their own policies, guidelines and initiatives. It's easy for individual patients to feel they don't matter anymore. As a survivor of Kidney Cancer, I have so much to thank the NHS for and I do so, on a daily basis. Kidney cancer is a type of cancer which is difficult to treat and I've received all my treatment from the NHS which has cared for me during my illness. But I know other cancer patients who have been let down because "the system" is seen to be more important than the patient. The words in the Constitution need to be matched by actions in GP surgeries, Hospitals and PCT's and organisations like N I C E.

The James Whale Fund

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