Satisfaction with NHS 'hits 11-year low'

Tuesday 12th March 2019 21:57 EDT

Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level for over a decade, a long-running survey suggests.

The British Social Attitudes poll of nearly 3,000 people found 53% of in England, Scotland and Wales were satisfied with services last year.

That is a three percentage point drop since 2017 and the lowest level since 2007. A peak of 70% was seen in 2010.

Experts said waiting times and a lack of staff were major concerns as ratings for GPs dropped to an all-time low.

The findings of the survey have been released by the Nuffield Trust and King's Fund think tanks, which helped to provide analysis around the figures.

Ruth Robertson, from the King's Fund, said the issues identified by the public were "long-standing" problems that the government had not yet managed to deal with.

She pointed out the findings were even more interesting considering the public had been polled in the summer after the 70th anniversary of the creation of the NHS and at a time when the government had announced extra funding for the health service.

Of those who were not satisfied last year, 30% said they were actively dissatisfied, with virtually all the rest being neither satisfied or dissatisfied. Less than 1% said they could not answer.

Being free at the point of use, the quality of care and the range of services and treatments available were the main reasons people expressed satisfaction.

Despite the drop in satisfaction, the rating was still well above the all-time low of 34%, which was recorded in 1997. The survey started in 1983.

The poll also provided breakdowns for individual services.

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