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Just 10% of Brits support Government NHS policy, new study shows

Just 10% of Brits support Government NHS policy, new study shows

Only 10% of people in the UK think the Government has the right policies for managing the NHS, with strong differences across England, Scotland and Wales, according to new polling. 

Almost two-thirds of people think the standard of care in the NHS will get worse in the next year – a figure which has jumped from 39% in May 2022. 

The polling, conducted by Ipsos for the Health Foundation think-tank in November, shows that public support for Government NHS policy in England is the lowest in two decades. 

In England just 8% of people think the Government has the right NHS policies, compared with 28% in Scotland and 19% in Wales, indicating stark variance in public support across the UK. 

However, support for the NHS’s founding principles was high, with 90% of people believing the NHS should be free at the point of care and 84% reinforcing the need for taxation as its primary funding source.

A similarly high proportion of people (84%) think more funding is needed to combat the issues facing the NHS, and 40% of people think alleviating pressure on NHS staff is a top priority. 

Tim Gardner, a senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, said: ‘The public has sent a clear message to Government to increase funding for the NHS and address issues like long waits, high staff vacancies and pressure on doctors, nurses and other staff.’

He added: ‘There has been much debate in recent months about changing the NHS funding model – such as charging for GP appointments or a switch to social insurance. 

‘As well as being a costly distraction, there is no evidence voters want a radical change to the NHS model, they just want the current one to work better.’

Ipsos surveyed 2,063 people, stratified by nation and education, and received a 58% response rate.