The survey polled 3,000 people across England, Wales, and Scotland about their satisfaction with the NHS. Additionally, 1,000 people were asked about their feelings on individual services. 65 percent were happy with their GP services, a drop from last year’s 72 percent, although a rise from 2013’s 60 percent. The dissatisfaction rate, those who were “very” or “quite” dissatisfied, has risen from 22 percent in 2016 to 29 percent, which is the highest in a decade. Satisfaction with the NHS has dropped 6 percent, to 57 percent, which is the lowest since 2011.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said the results were “unsurprising”, as the health service was “running at capacity and in a state of crisis year-round.” Professor Helen-Stokes Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPS, also said that there was a shortage of GPs, so patient requirements cannot fully be met. Jonathan Ashworth MP, the Labour Shadow Health Secretary, said the report demonstrated the effects of “years of overstretched budgets”. Ashworth added:
“In Theresa May’s first year in office, there has been an astonishing six-point drop in satisfaction levels with the NHS, while satisfaction with GP services has fallen to an all-time low. What’s more, there has been a huge jump in the number of people who think the Government isn’t providing the funding that the NHS needs.”
Last year alone, there were 4 million placed on waiting lists and 560,000 waiting on trolleys. Ashworth also said that this was a clear message to May “that the Tory agenda of underfunding, cuts, and privatisation must come to end.” The results also come after nearly 1,000 urgent operations were delayed due to pressures on hospital resources, such as a lack of beds for recovery after their operation. Some procedures were even scrapped because of staff shortages, such as surgeons being unavailable.
When asked about alternatives to universal NHS care, 68 percent were opposed to their idea that the NHS should only be available to lower income individuals and 39 percent said they would prefer to be treated by NHS than private service; 16 percent preferred private; and 43 percent had no preference. But, 45 percent think that in 10 years’ time, the NHS will not be a free universal service.
To read the full report, click here.