One in four Britons ‘are not convinced the NHS can take care of them’, survey reveals | NHS
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One in four Britons don’t think the NHS can take care of them properly, new research on public attitudes towards health services has revealed.
When asked ‘how confident, if at all, are you in the ability of the NHS to provide you with the care you need? A quarter (26%) responded that they were not confident.
While only 15% believed the NHS was not doing well in treating coronavirus patients, many more – 41% – believed it was not doing well in providing other services.
Experts said increasingly long delays for operations and GP appointments, Covid’s disruption of normal NHS services and long-standing staff shortages were likely to blame for the shortage widespread confidence in the ability of health services to provide prompt and effective medical treatment.
Sally Warren, policy director at the King’s Fund health think tank, said the pandemic had added to the pressure already felt in the NHS and forced it to prioritize people receiving care.
“The impact of this re-prioritization has been clear to all through regular reporting on which NHS services are struggling to cope. Again, this is on the minds of many as the Omicron variant brings back the threat of overwhelmed services, ”said Warren.
“But it’s not just media reports that change people’s perceptions of health services, and many people have personal experience of having difficulty accessing their GP or being stranded on a health care list. waiting in the hospital, ”she added.
The results of the Ipsos Mori pollsters are based on questions asked of 1,032 adults between the ages of 18 and 75 across Britain between December 16 and 18. When asked the 41% who thought the NHS was not doing well in providing non-Covid care which they held accountable, 48% said the government, 18% blamed patients and 8% identified the big public as the culprits.
The survey also found that people who were themselves on a waiting list for routine hospital care or who had a parent on a wait list were more likely to be “not confident” in the ability. of the NHS to provide care.
Labor said the results showed the effects of persistent and unresolved staff shortages.
“The pandemic has put enormous pressure on the NHS. But health services have entered the pandemic severely understaffed, with patients already waiting too long for care. With record waiting lists, 100,000 NHS staff shortages and 112,000 vacant social service positions in 2019, the Tories have left our health services criminally ill-equipped for Covid, ”said ghost secretary Wes Streeting to health.
“None of this is the fault of our heroic health and social workers, who are helping Britain weather this pandemic. For our NHS to be able to deliver the care patients expect, the workforce must be properly assessed, strengthened, and equipped with modern equipment and technology to ensure patients receive more quality care. quickly, ”he added.
The pandemic – which led to the widespread suspension of normal NHS care and saw England’s waiting list drop from 4.4 million to 5.8 million – appears to have undermined public confidence in its ability to Provide them with the care they need.
In research, 37% of those polled said they were less confident that the NHS could give them the care they need since the pandemic, while only 21% said they were more confident.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals in England, said the enormous pressures on the service were being felt by patients.
“The NHS has just gone through the most difficult two years in its history and is being put to the test on several fronts.
“The public knows that the health service is doing everything it can to provide the care people need. A large majority are confident in the ability of the NHS to provide this care. It is understandable, given the scale of the pressures, that some are concerned, ”Hopson said.
He cited the Omicron variant, the record-breaking backlog of those waiting for surgery – which NHS leaders admit it will take years to clear – and the huge demand for A&E as examples of the growing strain.
Kate Duxbury, Ipsos Mori Co-Director of Research, said: ‘Overall, the public still thinks the NHS has the capacity to give it the care it needs, although this has been impacted by the pandemic and there are signs it will come under increasing pressure as more people wait for NHS care. “
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs declined to respond directly to the findings. But a spokesperson said: ‘As the pandemic has put enormous pressure on the NHS and increased waiting lists, the NHS is offering the largest vaccination rollout in history and more than 32 million people received their vital booster injection.
“Our record investment in the NHS includes an additional £ 2bn this year and £ 8bn over the next three years to reduce wait times and provide 9m additional checks, tests and operations ensuring that patients get the treatment they need sooner.
“The NHS is also deploying more efficient and innovative ways of working, including opening new surgical centers and at least 100 community diagnostic centers by 2025 to make testing faster and more convenient.”
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