The 2018 British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey has been released, investigating how Britain will navigate the global, social and economic challenges of the near future, covering pressing topics such as Brexit and NHS funding.
The annual study found that most people feel the NHS has a major funding problem, with 86% of respondents believing that the NHS faces a “major” or “severe” funding problem.
As many as 61% “would be prepared to accept” tax rises to increase NHS spending, up 21 points from 2014.
Patients also reported that they were concerned about waiting times and staff shortages as well as inadequate funding levels - all major concerns for frontline health leaders.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, responded to the survey: “We know that general practice is currently facing intense resource and workforce pressures, and while GPs are working incredibly hard to combat these, we understand that many patients are still waiting too long to see their doctor – something we find just as frustrating.
“Nevertheless, we know from the last GP Patient Survey that the majority of patients (84%) said that they had a good experience of their general practice.
“Our workload has escalated, both in terms of volume and complexity, in recent years but the share of the NHS budget general practice receives is less than it was a decade ago and the number of full-time equivalent GPs in England has actually fallen over the last two years.”
The NHS Long Term Plan hopes to counteract the drops in satisfaction and workforce, with an investment of £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24 and aims to transform patient care while spending tax payers' money more efficiently.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation also commented: "These findings show the inevitable consequence of starving the NHS of funding for the best part of a decade. We should be under no illusions about the scale of the task we face to restore public confidence in the health service.”