Public satisfaction with NHS at lowest ever level, survey shows

Public satisfaction with the NHS has dropped again, setting a new low recorded by the long-running British Social Attitudes survey.

Just 24% said they were satisfied with the NHS in 2023, with waiting times and staff shortages the biggest concerns. That is five percentage points down on last year and a drop from the 2010 high of 70% satisfaction.

The poll – the gold-standard measure of the public’s view of the health service – has been running since 1983.
More than 3,000 people were polled by the National Centre for Social Research across England, Wales and Scotland in the autumn.

Health is devolved so it is up to each nation to decide on policies for the NHS.

The findings on the NHS, published by the Nuffield Trust and King’s Fund think tanks, show once again that performance has deteriorated after a new record low was seen last year. In total, since 2020, satisfaction has fallen by 29 percentage points.

Of the core services, the public was least satisfied with A&E and dentistry. The survey also showed satisfaction with social care had fallen to 13% – again the lowest since the survey began. The major reasons for dissatisfaction were long waiting times, staffing shortages and lack of funding.

When asked about government choices on tax and spending on the NHS, 48% backed increasing taxes and spending more on the NHS, but 42% preferred to keep taxes and spending the same and 6% backed reducing taxes and spending less. Those with the highest incomes were more likely to want to increase taxes and spend more.

Source: BBC

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