Public attitudes to the NHS. An analysis of responses to questions in the British Social Attitudes Survey

Title of driver: Public attitudes to the NHS. An analysis of responses to questions in the British Social Attitudes Survey

Source:  Link to main document: Follow this link to view the pdf

Publication format:  PDF

Date of publication: February 2015

Summary of driver:

This report analyses the results of a series of questions about the NHS that were included in the 2014 British Social Attitudes Survey, undertaken by NatCen Social Research.

The 2014 survey (on which this report is based) received a 47% response rate (2,878 responses returned). The BSA survey asks about the public’s attitudes to a range of social issues but the 2014 report focused on questions relating to NHS funding and care.

Key features of driver:

  • Annual survey of representative sample of adults aged 18 and over from across Great Britain who live in private households.
  • Strong support for NHS across all sections of British society. Majority of those funded agree that government should support a national health system that is tax funded.
  • Just under half of respondents believe that NHS has neither improved nor deteriorated over the last five years.
  • Younger generation are less committed to the idea of NHS as a provider of care than the older generation.
  • Just over half of respondents think the NHS wastes money and a majority would not support further cuts to other public services in order to provide additional funding for the NHS.
  • Important to note the 2014/15 has been one of the most challenging winters in the recent history of the NHS which may have influenced public perception of the NHS.
  • Majority of respondents are not bothered about who delivers their care as long as they get the care required.
  • NHS needs to deliver improved productivity and demonstrate that waste is being reduced.
  • NHS is consistently one of the most important issues to voters and research suggests that the NHS funding will have to increase faster than inflation in order to maintain the quality and range of NHS services.

Primary audience: Anyone with an interest in the public attitudes of the NHS/provision of health care services.

Impact on library policy/practice: No immediate direct impact on libraries identified. Possible rise in interest in information relating to socio-economic factors of healthcare provision.

Date last updated: February 2015

Due for review:  February 2016

Group member responsible: LK


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