Hospital Dr News

Majority of the public believe the NHS is heading in the wrong direction

The vast majority of the public are worried about the future of the NHS and a majority believe it is heading in the wrong direction.

A survey of 1,240 people in England carried out by the BMA finds that fewer than one in five people trust the government with the NHS.

The survey shows 78% are worried about the future of the NHS, and 52% do not believe the NHS is going in the right direction.

Other findings include:

  • Fewer than one in five (18%) trust the government with the management of the NHS
  • More than half (53%) believe the NHS is going to get worse over the next few years
  • Only one in eight (13%) believe the government is giving the NHS the money it needs
  • More than three in four (77%) believe the government’s policies are leading to growing discontent across the NHS workforce

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said: “Public confidence in the government’s management of the NHS is extremely low. People are increasingly concerned about the future of a health service that they know is under unsustainable pressure.

“There is a gulf between the government’s promises on the NHS and what the public believe to be true. Everyone agrees that the NHS needs to grow and change, yet there is no long-term plan to address the crisis in our health service.

“It’s little wonder that many people question the government’s commitment to the NHS and believe it is going in the wrong direction.”

On the issue of seven-day NHS services, the survey finds that 69% believe the NHS cannot currently afford to deliver seven-day hospital services, and 79% believe that providing more hospital services at the weekend should not mean a reduction in weekday services.

Only one in 10 (11%) believe the government has done enough to explain how it will pay for a seven-day service.

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