Public acceptability of health and social care funding options

Funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK

February 2019

Jon Sussex
Peter Burge
Hui Lu
Josephine Exley
Suzanne King
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Key points

  • Public knowledge of the scale of NHS and social care funding is poor and few people realise the large extent of private funding of social care.
  • All sections of the public – across age groups, income groups, employment status, health status and countries of the UK – would like additional funding for social care to be raised in the same way as additional NHS funding.
  • Across all sections of the population, people prefer a collective rather than individualistic approach to raising additional funds for both health and social care.
  • The public’s preferences are very similar across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, once age and socioeconomic characteristics are controlled for.

This working paper is part of a research project exploring funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK

It explores the preferences of the general public with regard to the various ways of raising the additional funds that will be needed for health and social care in the UK. The researchers conducted focus groups with members of the public in all four UK countries and used the findings to design a discrete choice experiment (DCE). In the DCE, with a total of 2,756 respondents, researchers tested people’s preferences between different ways of funding health care and social care by asking them to make a series of choices between pairs of options.

The working paper presents the key findings, and draws out the policy implications.

Further reading

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Health funding – finally something we can agree on

How would the UK public prefer additional funds for health and social care to be raised? Jon Sussex explores the findings fro...

Working paper

Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence

This working paper explores how other countries approach funding their health and social care systems.

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