This site is intended for health professionals only

Only 10% of UK public support Government’s NHS plans

Only 10% of UK public support Government’s NHS plans
By Jess Hacker
24 February 2023

Only one-in-10 members of the British public believe the Government has the right policies in mind for the NHS, a new survey has revealed.

That figure shrinks to just 8% in England, compared to a relatively higher 28% in Scotland and 19% in Wales, with the polls indicating that support for Government NHS policy in England is the lowest in 20 years.

New polling, led by the Health Foundation and Ipsos, only a third (33%) of the public believe the NHS is providing a good service nationally, with nearly two-third (62%) expecting the standard of NHS care to deteriorate over the next 12 months.

That figure has jumped from 39% in May 2022.

The survey of more than 2,000 people also indicated what the public believe should be clear priorities for the NHS.

Members of the UK public named addressing the pressure on and workload of NHS staff as their top priority (40%), followed by increasing the number of staff (29%) and improving waiting times for routine services (25%).

Despite this, support for the NHS’ founding principles remained high, with 90% agreeing the service should be free at point of delivery and 84% saying it should be funded through taxation.

Commenting on the survey, Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: ‘These findings reflect the huge pressure on the NHS following the pandemic and what trust leaders describe as the hardest winter of their careers.

‘Burnt-out staff are working tirelessly to tackle backlogs in the face of growing demand and limited capacity. Trust leaders are doing all they can to deliver safe, high-quality care, but they’re worried the vast workforce shortages could slow down progress and hamper staff retention.’

She added that the forthcoming national workforce plan must be fully funded by the Government and should aim to tackle this.

She said: ‘There remains overwhelming support from the public for the founding principles of the NHS, and a desire for better funding. This survey suggests they’re looking to the government to step in and support the health service. The commitment to provide free care to everyone is as relevant today as it ever was.’

Want news like this straight to your inbox?

Related articles