The reform of the NHS coupled with large cuts is driving down people’s satisfaction with the National Health Service.
This is according to the NHS Spring Public Perceptions of the NHS Tracker Survey which was released over the weekend.
The survey, conducted by the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute on behalf of the Department of Health, showed 69% of people are satisfied with the current running of the NHS. This is a 4% fall compared to the survey completed between December 2009 and December 2008, when 73% of the public were satisfied.
Ipsos MORI carried out just over one thousand interviews among a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over, with all interviews taking place between 4th and 31st of May this year.
The number of people saying they are very satisfied with the NHS is now just 17% - a significant fall since 24% was recorded in December 2009.
There has also been a six percentage point fall in agreement that the government has the right policies for the NHS since December 2009 (from 28% to 22% now). This continues a steady decline since 37% was recorded in December 2009. Nearly half of people (45%) now disagree that the government has the right policies.
The reason, according to the DH, is because the government unveiled its controversial reform agenda for the NHS in mid-2010, which became more and more disliked until it finally became law – in a diluted form - in April this year.
It says in its report surrounding the survey that “these attitudes are likely to be linked to perceptions of the [NHS] reforms”.
It also found that nearly half (43%) think the changes the government is making to the NHS “will make services worse for patients” (an increase on 38% in December 2011).
The public also continues to believe the biggest problem facing the NHS is lack of resources and investment (which was spontaneously mentioned by 39 percent of those surveyed). One in five people believe the NHS suffers from being understaffed, and 8% think overworked staff is a big problem.