Public satisfaction with NHS at lowest level since 2007, according to survey

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4th April 2019 13:33 - Health

Public satisfaction with the NHS at lowest level since 2007: A survey looking at public attitudes in the UK across a range of areas has found satisfaction levels with the NHS overall are at their lowest in over a decade.

The British Social Attitudes (BSA) 2018 survey found that more than half of the respondents polled (53%) said they were satisfied with the NHS overall, a fall of three percentage points since 2017.

The survey also found that people over the age of 65 were more satisfied with the NHS overall than younger people (61% compared to 51%). 

When asked about the reasons for their satisfaction with the NHS 71% said they were ‘quite’ or ‘very’ satisfied with the quality of NHS care, while 62% said the service is free at the point of use. Other responses included a good range of services and treatments available (46%) and the attitudes and behaviour of NHS staff (44%).

The main reasons given for dissatisfaction were the time it takes to get a GP or hospital appointment (53%), not enough staff (51%) and not enough money spent by government (49%). A third (33%) said that ‘money is wasted in the NHS’.

Satisfaction levels rose for some individual NHS services

While overall satisfaction with the NHS was found to be at the lowest since 2007, satisfaction with individual services has risen in a number of areas.

Respondent satisfaction with inpatient services, for example, were at their highest level since 1993 at 63%, and up from 55% last year. Outpatient services had a satisfaction level of 70% - the highest-rated service in the poll, up from 65% in 2017 and at the highest level since the survey was introduced in 1983.

Rating other NHS services, 63% of respondents said they were quite or very satisfied with their GP services – although this was still at its lowest level in 36 years; 53% were happy with their A&E services, while 58% were satisfied with the service they had received within NHS Dentistry. Satisfaction was at the lowest level for social care services – with just over a quarter of people satisfied (26%). 

*A nationally representative sample of 2,926 was polled about their satisfaction with the NHS overall, while 973 were questioned about individual services within the NHS and social care.

You can see the BSA report here

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