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Posted on 7th March 2017

Over half of Britons think the NHS is getting worse

Last month a survey found that the number of Britons who think the NHS is getting worse and are fearing for its future, is growing.

The polling company Ipsos Mori found that 57 per cent of people believe the NHS’s ability to deliver the care and services it provides has worsened over the last six months.

One in four people said they felt it had got “mush worse”, whilst 33 per cent believed it has only got “slightly worse”.

The polling may be an indication of the negative impact the NHS’s winter crisis has had on the public. Record number of patients were left on trolleys after more than half of all hospitals went on alert because they couldn’t cope.

Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund health think-tank told the Guardian: ““This survey shows the public is realising that the NHS is buckling under the strain of meeting rising demand for services and maintaining standards of care”.

In a further poll carried out by Ipsos Mori, Britons are the most positive internationally about the healthcare we receive. 69 per cent say that they and their families get good healthcare, compared to the average of 47 per cent agreeing with this statement across the 23 countries surveyed. 

“Britain’s love for the NHS is one of our defining characteristics, and we remain among the most positive countries in the world about the quality of care we receive. But we’re also the most worried for the future of the service. This fear has been growing and is now at record levels”, said Kate Duxbury, Ipsos Mori’s head of healthcare research.

A spokesman for NHS England told the Guardian: “It’s welcome news that a far higher proportion of people in Britain than in other countries rate the quality of their healthcare highly. And it’s noticeable that those people who use the NHS most and who therefore know most about it – the over-75s – are in fact the most optimistic about its future.” 

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