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Public support for NHS reforms takes a dive

The public is becoming more pessimistic over the impact of the Government’s changes to the NHS, with 43% saying they thought things would get worse under their reforms, a Department of Health commissioned poll reveals.

The Ipsos Mori poll of 1,015 people found 69% were happy with the running of the NHS, but a quarter of people said they thought the NHS reforms would mean cuts to services and 15% said they thought more of the services would be provided by the private sector.

Seven in ten mentioned either of these changes meant services would get worse.

The public was split over the outlook for the NHS, with 35% saying they thought things would get better and 32% making a bleak prognosis for the NHS over the next few years.

Some 43% said they expected the Government’s reforms to make things worse, compared with 38% in last December’s survey.

The number of people who thought the changes would provide good service in the future dropped from 50% in December last year to 44% this year.

With cuts on the way over half (58%) said they thought there should be limits on what is spent on the NHS, up 14% in 2006.

However, most people (67%) admitted they know little or nothing about the way the NHS is changing, although their knowledge of commissioning is increasing.

This time, one in five spontaneously mentioned the role of GPs and other healthcare professionals in commissioning, up from 13% in December 2011.

The involvement of GPs and other healthcare professionals in commissioning would improve things in the NHS said 42%, down 5% on last December’s survey.