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Public turns against NHS use of private providers



The public is turning against the NHS’s use of private providers to deliver care, even when the care remains free at the point of delivery, a recent poll has found.  

Ipsos Mori asked 1,009 people if they agreed with the statement: ‘As long as health services are free of charge, it doesn’t matter to me whether they are provided by the NHS or a private company.’

It found that 47% of people disagreed with this statement, an increase of 11 percentage points on the number of people who disagreed when asked in February 2011.

However, it also found that people are less likely to be against external providers who are charity or voluntary organisations.

Anna Quigley, the head of health research at Ipsos Mori said that private providers still have some way to go before they are a fully accepted part of the UK’s health system on par with state-run services.

She said: ‘The Government are keen to ensure the NHS is able to meet the demands placed on it, but they must be careful that in reforming the NHS and introducing new providers into the mix, they take account of public opinion and don’t leave the public behind.’