NHS satisfaction 'stabilising after record fall'

GP writing a prescription The British Social Attitudes Survey has been running since 1983

Public satisfaction with the NHS appears to have stabilised following a record fall, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey.

The poll of more than 1,100 people in England, Wales and Scotland last year found satisfaction with the way the NHS was run stood at 61%.

This followed a record fall from 70%, in 2010, to 58% in 2011.

The drop coincided with the first year of the spending squeeze and controversy over reforms in England.

The 2012 survey, conducted by NatCen Social Research, found that 74% were satisfied with GPs while just 30% were satisfied with social care.

A total of 59% said they were satisfied with A&E units and 56% were satisfied with dentists, it found.

'Appalling care'

Prof John Appleby, of the King's Fund think tank, said the poll was an "important barometer".

"With no real change in satisfaction with the NHS in 2012, this suggests the fall in 2011 was not a blip and that the ground lost may take some time to recover," he said.

Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy said it was important to "look beyond statistics and properly assess patient experience".

"People are still contacting our helpline every day to tell us that they or a loved one is receiving the most appalling care in hospital.

"These serious issues need to be tackled and the government needs to monitor closely the impact of its reforms."

A spokesman for NHS England, the new national board which oversees the health service, said: "The changes which have been implemented put patients at the centre of everything the NHS does.

"We are committed to providing the best services possible for patients in England."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 529.

    Based on what I have experienced I think the NHS is pretty excellent. Especially considering its sheer size, its disparate organisation, exploitation by contractors, fiefdoms and government politicking its subject to, I'm surprised its not in A&E itself!

  • rate this

    Comment number 486.

    Every brush I've ever had with the NHS - from NHSDirect to antenatal classes to Occupational Therapists to A&E - has been good and some of it excellent. The one blip was a follow-up appointment that never materialised which I expect was a management / bad IT issue. Perhaps someone should consider relegating the clerks to their traditional position and putting medics in charge?

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    I think NHS is doing good job despite hard times. Patients should also learn to manage their expectations. I personally wouldn’t be bothered with substandard food and other comforts as long as NHS provides there core service which is Medical care to acceptable standard. And I think people who complain have not seen what bad care really is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    Before I left the UK I had been waiting 6 months for an appoitment for a hernia op. I visited a doc just after my arrival in France and he was astonished. I saw a specialist the following week and at the end of the examination he looked in his diary and said "ok for the operation next monday?" It is all done by telephone here, no long waits for letters etc!
    France is great, age is no barrier.

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    A visit to the local hospital proved amusing.15 patients sat outside 3 doctors rooms and after about an hour with only 1 of these doors opening I relieved the boredom by counting the trollys going up and down the coridoor.18 trolleys went past all filled with paper and files but not a patiant in sight.
    A clear case of to many chiefs and not enough indians


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