Sick and Tired: NHS Public Satisfaction Levels Hit All Time Low

After over a decade of cutbacks, staff shortages, record waiting times and lack of infrastructure spending, public satisfaction with the NHS is at its lowest-ever levels. Only 24% of people said they were ‘satisfied’ with the NHS in 2023.

British Social Attitudes Survey Shows Dissatisfaction

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The long-running survey is used as a benchmark to assess how the public feels about the health service in the country. Having started in 1983, they’ve built up a long-term data set on public opinion.

New Low Beats Previous Last Year

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These figures are even lower than last year, which at the time set a new record of dissatisfaction with the NHS. It is only a handful of times since the survey began that the satisfaction level has dropped in consecutive years.

Recent Lows Go Beyond 90s Levels

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The survey results are the worst by some margin, and the last time the public displayed anywhere near a similar level of frustration with the service was in the 1990s.

Highest Level of Satisfaction Was 2010

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Worryingly for the government, the highest level of satisfaction with the NHS was in 2010, when they inherited the system. Back then 70% of people surveyed were satisfied with the service. Over a decade of Tory rule has destroyed public satisfaction. 

Usual Suspects Were to Blame

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In a case of ‘stuck record’, the public displayed frustration with the long waiting times, clear lack of funding, and staff shortages across NHS services.

48% Would Pay More Tax to Increase Investment

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In the survey, 48% of people said they would happily pay additional taxes to allow more funding to go towards the NHS. 42% would like to see taxes remain the same, but government priorities shift towards more NHS funding. 

Wealthiest Happiest to Contribute More

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As expected, those with higher incomes were the ones more likely to accept a tax increase to better fund the NHS. When you’re under less financial pressure, paying more tax isn’t as stifling.

Political Parties Need to Take Heed

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Speaking on behalf of the Nuffield Trust, which published the findings, Jessica Morris said…

“As we approach a general election, political parties should be frank and realistic about the challenges ahead of them if they are to turn this situation around.” 

Public Hasn’t Given Up Hope

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She continued, “Despite such low levels of satisfaction, the public continues to back the principles underpinning the NHS.”

Funding Healthcare a Clear Vote Winner

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In UK politics, a strong stance on the NHS is a vote winner. The UK population is very proud of it, and mismanagement of the NHS is almost certainly a way to lose power. Almost all of us engage with NHS services in some way, so it directly impacts everyday lives.

Royal College of Nursing Has a Say

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Royal College of Nursing general secretary Prof Pat Cullen said, “Enough is enough. Voters must now make NHS and care services the central issue of the general election.”

Standards Have Plummeted

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Cullen continued, “An NHS that was once a world-leader is now treating patients in corridors, doorways, and store cupboards. The status quo has become intolerable.”

Government Trying to Claim Progress

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The Department of Health and Social Care claimed that investment was being made into GP services, and that some waiting lists are getting shorter. The issue is, of course, that they’re only shorter because they were all-time record lengths previously. 

Yet Another Example of Government Failings

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Whilst the NHS has never been perfect, there’s no denying that we’ve never seen the service standards crumble under Tory’s leadership. Waiting times are at record lengths, buildings are falling apart and staff shortages are everywhere.

Labour Will Capitalise on These Findings

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This is a political open goal for Labour to pounce on. They can point to record public satisfaction with the NHS when they were in charge.

Public Suspicion of Tory Control of Public Services

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For years the public have been suspicious of the Conservatives running the NHS, claiming they’re slowly selling off parts to private companies. Many NHS services are now outsourced to private healthcare providers.

Government Say They Remain Committed to the NHS

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said, “We are fully committed to a faster, simpler and fairer NHS, free at the point of need.”

Results Speak For Themselves

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Regardless of government rhetoric, the results don’t lie. Record NHS waiting times, staff shortages, patients in corridors, shortage of beds, and reduced satisfaction with the NHS have all occurred under the Tory government. 

Another Hammer Blow For Tory Re-Election Hopes

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This latest news is likely to be another nail in the coffin for the government. The chances of reelection are fading by the day for them. 

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The post Sick and Tired: NHS Public Satisfaction Levels Hit All Time Low first appeared on Edge Media.

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