Public concerns over the future of the NHS

By William Smith

The results of a survey published this week show that the general public has grave concerns over the futureof the National Health Service.  The survey was conducted for Benenden Healthcare Society and included the opinions of over 2,000 people.

The results suggest that the general opinion of the man on the street is that the clock is ticking for the health services in Britain.  More than two in five people do not believe that the NHS will be ‘there for them’ in ten years’ time.  Only one third of the people surveyed think that the health service will exist in 20 years’ time.

Half of those surveyed also believe that the present Government’s policies will weaken the NHS over the next two years.  Further findings suggest:

  • Only 11% believe that recent government reforms will make the position of the NHS stronger in the future.
  • 89% of people feel that the NHS will be there to provide quality care in the case of an acute emergency but public confidence is lacking when it comes to longer-term chronic conditions such as those associated with our aging society.
  • Around 48% of those surveyed believe that the NHS would provide quality healthcare for those with chronic conditions such as stress or back pain.

The chief executive of Benenden Healthcare Society, Ken Hesketh said that while people still feel confident in the service provision the NHS offers today, the research findings suggest that the public have ‘genuine concerns’ over the future of the NHS and its ability to provide for them in the years ahead.