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Public satisfaction with the NHS slumps to new record low

Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded, according to analysis of the latest British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) published by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust.

For the first time in the 41-year history of the survey, less than a quarter of people are satisfied with the way the NHS is running. Satisfaction had previously peaked in 2010, when 7 out of 10 people reported being satisfied with the health service. 

Overall public satisfaction with how the NHS runs now stands at 24% – a fall of 5 percentage points from the previous year. Since 2020, satisfaction has fallen by 29 percentage points. Dissatisfaction is also at an all-time high, with more than half (52%) of respondents saying they were dissatisfied with the NHS.  

The survey, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in September and October 2023, is seen as a gold-standard measure of public attitudes in Britain. 

Nearly three quarters (71%) of respondents who were dissatisfied with the NHS pointed to long waiting times for GP and hospital appointments as one of their top reasons for dissatisfaction, followed by staffing shortages (54%), and a view that the government does not spend enough on the health service (47%).  

Since the 2015 survey, a large majority of respondents have consistently expressed the view that the NHS has a major or severe funding problem, with 84% of respondents to the 2023 survey now sharing this view.  

In a new question introduced for the 2023 survey, nearly half (48%) of the public would support the government increasing taxes and spending more on the NHS. Those on the highest household incomes were more likely to choose this option.  

Despite record low levels of satisfaction with the NHS, public support for the founding principles of the NHS were as strong as ever.

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Upcoming Events

Infection Prevention & Control

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
23rd - 24th April 2024

ESGE Days 2024, Symposium – ‘Elevating Endoscopy: Inspiring Progress and Innovation’

Estrel Congress Center (room 15), Berlin, Germany
25th April 2024, 16:30 – 17:30 CEST

National DERS and SMART pump conference

BCEC, Birmingham
29th April 2024

Theatres & Decontamination Conference 2024

Coventry Building Society Arena
16th May 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Birmingham

Millennium Point, Birmingham
18th May 2024

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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