NHS at 70: Public perceptions

Poll conducted for the Health Foundation in partnership with The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and the Institute for Fiscal Studies

July 2018

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Key questions addressed

  • What does the future look like for the NHS?
  • Is more money needed for the NHS?
  • Are we expecting too much of the NHS?
  • How do the public feel about social care funding?
  • How will new technology affect the NHS and health care?

To mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, Ipsos MORI conducted a poll for the Health Foundation, in partnership with The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

What does the future look like for the NHS?

Only one in five people (20%) feel that the NHS will remain free at the point of use in 70 years’ time, while 77% predict there will be some level of change – either having to pay for services or predicting that the NHS won’t exist at all.

Is more money needed for the NHS?

The majority of people (79%) agree that the NHS is currently underfunded, and more than half (55%) strongly agree this is the case. But there is no clear consensus as to how to fund an increase to NHS spending – just over half (54%) are in favour of either an additional tax earmarked specifically for the NHS or an increase to existing taxation.

Are we expecting too much of the NHS?

The public overwhelmingly feels the responsibility for staying healthy lies with the individual – 97% say this, compared with 75% who place similar levels of responsibility on the food and drinks industry, 67% with the NHS, and 62% with government.

How do the public feel about social care funding?

The public is somewhat split regarding the current system for payment of social care – 44% feel means testing is unfair, while 38% say the opposite.

How will new technology affect the NHS and health care?

There is limited knowledge of how various organisations use anonymised health data for research – nearly two in five (37%) say they know either a great deal or a fair amount about how the NHS uses such data.

Further reading

Briefing

NHS at 70: How good is the NHS?

The first of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

Briefing

NHS at 70: What’s the problem with social care, and why do we need to do better?

The second of five briefings to inform and encourage a national conversation about the past, present, and future of the NHS.

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