The survey

The British Social Survey has been running since 1983 to track the satisfaction of the British public for the health service.

In 2023 only 24% reported satisfaction with the NHS due to waiting times and staff shortages being the biggest concerns.

This is a record low since the poll began and has recently dropped 29% points from 2020 .

Government funding for the NHS

Health care Funding reports that 86% of government funding goes towards the NHS for day-to-day costs including  medicines and paying staff.

In 2023/24 the spending amounted to £163bn in cash terms which is expected to increased to £192bn for the year 2024/25.

Many people have called for a shift in focus for spending claiming that the government needs to re-evaluate where the money goes in order to improve the NHS.

The Complaints

Waiting lists are at a high with people waiting months if not years before they receive treatment. GPs making referrals are often delayed as there is no capacity within the required outpatient department.

Waiting times in the hospitals are also creating anger with the public this is partly due to the poor patient flow where patients are not being transferred quickly as the social care lacks the capacity. Patients remaining in hospital means people cannot be seen until the space becomes available.

Staff shortages lead to a wide array of problems that are noticed by the public leading to longer wait times and unsatisfactory care for patients who require that extra supervision.

Can it be fixed?

The government has often relied on the role of the private sector to take on patients to reduce waiting lists and reduce the pressure on hospitals.

However a survey from BMA discovered that with this plan 60% of private practice doctors were then unable to provide care to their patients at the time.

The BMA also states the need for more encouragement in the medical fields for people to pursue careers within it. More options need to be presented including flexible working as often those who enter have to leave due to inflexible options.

Taxes for an improved NHS?

Is having a specific tax which covers only the costs of the NHS a beneficial way for the NHS to improve?

The survey showed that 48% of people would support an increase in taxes to allow for increased spending on the NHS.

42% of people would prefer to maintain the level of taxes and NHS spending.

Only 6% would want reduced taxes to spend less.

Would you be willing to pay a tax to improve the NHS?