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Issues shaping debate
on the NHS: what the
public thinks
Health Foundation and Ipsos MORI
April 2015
Methodology
2
• Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,792 adults
across Great Britain aged 15 and over...
NHS Funding
4
The majority of people (59%) support increasing taxes as a way of funding the NHS when presented
with a range of options...
5
Analysis by the Health Foundation shows funding gap will continue to grow (beyond the rate of
inflation and economic gro...
6
UK currently spends less on health than many other European countries. For example, in
2012 the UK devoted 9.3% of gross...
7
61% of the public support introducing a £10 fine for missed appointments as a way of securing
additional funding to main...
NHS Principles
Principles of the NHS
9
• The majority of the public (85%) agree that the government should support a
national health syst...
10
85% of people agree that the government should support a national health service that is tax-
funded, free at the point...
11
Our briefing on how the UK compares with other health systems shows that the NHS is more
equitable than other comparabl...
Standard of care
13
Despite increasing financial pressures and a deterioration in waiting times this winter, half of the
public (51%) think...
14
Our analysis of the quality of care over this parliament showed that performance against a range of
waiting times targe...
Role of the
independent sector
16
The public is divided about the impact private provision of NHS-funded care will have on the
health service over the ne...
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The issues shaping debate on the NHS: what the public thinks

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With the NHS as the main area of public interest in the run-up to the 2015 general election, the Health Foundation and Ipsos MORI have conducted just under 1,800 interviews with adults across Great Britain to understand what the public thinks about the issues that are shaping debate on the NHS.

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The issues shaping debate on the NHS: what the public thinks

  1. 1. Issues shaping debate on the NHS: what the public thinks Health Foundation and Ipsos MORI April 2015
  2. 2. Methodology 2 • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,792 adults across Great Britain aged 15 and over. • Interviews were conducted face-to-face in respondents’ homes between 13 and 29 March 2015 as part of Ipsos MORI’s omnibus. • Data are weighted to the known population profile of GB. • An ‘*’ indicates a finding of less than 0.5%, but greater than zero. • Where percentages do not add up to exactly 100% this is due to computer rounding, the exclusion of “don’t knows” or to multiple answers.
  3. 3. NHS Funding
  4. 4. 4 The majority of people (59%) support increasing taxes as a way of funding the NHS when presented with a range of options. Far lower proportions select of cuts to other public services (21%) or scaling back the level of NHS care (7%). Unweighted base: 1,792 Many experts argue that it is becoming more expensive to fund the NHS because of increasing costs of treatments, an ageing population and several other factors. This means that even in order to maintain the current level of care and services provided for free by the NHS, spending on the NHS would have to increase. With that in mind, which, if any, of the following would you most like to see? 59% 21% 7% 12% Increase taxes in order to maintain the level of spending needed to keep the current level of NHS care and services Reduce spending on other public services to maintain the level of spending needed to keep current level of NHS care and services Reduce the level of NHS care and services so you do not need to increase current level of taxation and spending on NHS None of the above
  5. 5. 5 Analysis by the Health Foundation shows funding gap will continue to grow (beyond the rate of inflation and economic growth). Over recent decades it has been possible to protect the NHS as spending on other public services has reduced as a share of GDP. It is difficult to see how this can continue indefinitely.
  6. 6. 6 UK currently spends less on health than many other European countries. For example, in 2012 the UK devoted 9.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) to health, matching the OECD average but below many other European countries. If the public is supportive of spending a higher proportion of GDP on health care the key is to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of this spending.
  7. 7. 7 61% of the public support introducing a £10 fine for missed appointments as a way of securing additional funding to maintain the NHS compared to other possible charges. Unweighted base: 1,792 To what extent do you support or oppose each of the following as a way of securing additional funding to maintain the NHS…? 4% 7% 31% 11% 23% 30% 10% 19% 10% 30% 25% 16% 44% 27% 13% *% 1% *% Strongly support Tend to support Neither support nor oppose Tend to oppose Strongly oppose Don't know Being charged a £10 fee to visit a GP Increasing prescription charges to £10 (the current prescription charge is £8.05) A £10 fine for missed appointments (e.g. GP, hospital appointments)
  8. 8. NHS Principles
  9. 9. Principles of the NHS 9 • The majority of the public (85%) agree that the government should support a national health system that is tax-funded, free at the point of use and provides comprehensive care to all citizens. • Most also agree that the current NHS is both free at the point of use (85%) and provides comprehensive care to all citizens (78%). • However, the public is less certain that this will be the case in five years time: • 63% agree that the NHS will be free at the point of use by 2020. • 61% agree that the NHS will provide comprehensive care for all citizens by the end of the next parliament. • When asked why they agreed that these principles will be in place in five years’ time, the most common response was that the NHS needs to stay the same. • Around three-quarters of the public (72%) think that the NHS will be primarily funded through taxation in five years’ time.
  10. 10. 10 85% of people agree that the government should support a national health service that is tax- funded, free at the point of use and provides comprehensive care to all citizens. However, these findings indicate there is some concern among the public that these may be compromised in the future. . Unweighted base: 1,792 And thinking about the NHS in five years’ time, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements…? 25% 22% 25% 39% 39% 47% 16% 16% 15% 16% 16% 7% 3% 3% 2% 2% 3% 3% Strongly agree Tend to agree Neither agree nor disagree Tend to disagree Strongly disagree Don't know The NHS will be free at the point of use The NHS will provide comprehensive care to all citizens The NHS will primarily be funded through taxation
  11. 11. 11 Our briefing on how the UK compares with other health systems shows that the NHS is more equitable than other comparable countries. Where indicators are available on the effectiveness of treating specific conditions (e.g. diabetes, stroke, mental health and different forms of cancer), the UK’s performance compared to other countries is mixed - suggesting there is significant room for improvement.
  12. 12. Standard of care
  13. 13. 13 Despite increasing financial pressures and a deterioration in waiting times this winter, half of the public (51%) think the standard of NHS care is about the same as it was 6 months ago. However, a greater proportions believe it has got worse than better (32% compared with 11% respectively). Unweighted base: 1,792 Please say how much better or worse you think the general standard of care on the NHS has been getting over the last six months? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Much better Better About the same Worse Much worse Don't know
  14. 14. 14 Our analysis of the quality of care over this parliament showed that performance against a range of waiting times targets has deteriorated, but most people continue to be seen within target times. For example, over the last three months of 2014, performance against the four-hour A&E target was the lowest it had been in the last ten years, but 92.6% of people were still seen within the target time. The NHS has done extraordinarily well to maintain and improve quality across a range of areas in the face of growing pressure from increased demand and financial constraints. But progress on improving quality has stalled in some areas and may even be starting to unravel.
  15. 15. Role of the independent sector
  16. 16. 16 The public is divided about the impact private provision of NHS-funded care will have on the health service over the next few years. 30% of people think private provision of NHS-funded care will make the health service better, 33% think it will make the service worse and 34% think the NHS will stay the same. In our briefing on competition we outline that over time an increasing proportion of the NHS budget has been used to commission services from non-NHS providers. In 2013/14, £10.4bn was used to purchase care from non-NHS providers representing approximately 10.8% of total commissioner expenditure in England (based on 2014/15 prices). Unweighted base: 1,792 NHS services and care, whilst still free, will be provided by a wider range of organisations in future. This will include the private sector. To what extent do you think this will make the NHS better or worse over the next few years, or will it stay the same? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Get a lot better Get a little better Stay the same Get a little worse Get a lot worse Don't know 2015 2015

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