Just over a quarter of people believe that NHS England and social care services will meet their needs by 2048, a poll has revealed.
A survey commissioned by the charity Healthwatch showed that only 27% of people feel confident that their healthcare needs will be met in 20 to 30 years’ time.
The survey, which included 2,106 adults across the UK, looked at the level of confidence they have in the sector’s ability to respond to current and future healthcare needs as well the causes of poor health.
- Six in 10 people (61%) believe that health and social care services currently match their needs. This falls to 30% when asked about whether services will match their needs in 2048.
- Thirty-seven per cent said that services are meeting the needs of the country as a whole, compared to 21% 20-30 years in the future.
- Half (49%) said that services are currently able to look after their local communities. Less than a quarter (24%) believe this will be the case in 20-30 years’ time.
According to the survey, eating habits was identified as the factor impacting the most on the population health in the future, followed by the level of daily exercise and environment factors such as air pollution.
Scope for self-care?
According to the findings, one in seven participant (71%) said that individuals themselves ‘should be most responsible’ for making sure they live healthy lives.
Healthwatch England deputy director Neil Tester said although most participants believe that it is ‘up to them’ to remain healthy, people want the NHS to be there as to support them.
He added: ‘The future is never clear but public awareness about the impact of unhealthy lifestyles and pollution are heightening uncertainty about the future support people can expect.
‘Does this mean a future where the NHS is more of lifestyle coach – helping people keep well as part of a preventative approach – not just fixing them when things go wrong?’