The Patients' Charter was introduced in 1991 (DoH, 1991). Although much maligned at the time and since, it has had positive effects. Much criticism was directed at the lack of resources to implement its generally laudable aims, e.g. reduced waiting times, and it was often dismissed – along with the Citizens' Charter as a whole – as a Tory pre-election stunt. The positive effects were to increase the awareness among patients and health professionals of standards to be aspired to. Personal experience has shown that awareness of the Patients' Charter extends to some of the most psychiatrically disabled patients in Nottingham. All doctors are aware of the Charter and many express regret that a Doctors' Charter of patient responsibilities does not also exist.
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