An “overwhelming majority” of people support increasing spending on health and social care services, indicates a poll of 1,000 adults across Britain undertaken by Ipsos Mori for the NHS Confederation.
The data show that 77 percent of people either support or strongly support an increase in UK spending on public healthcare by 4 percent a year over the next 15 years to make ‘modest improvements’ to current levels of service.
An even larger proportion - 82 percent - voiced support for a 3.9 percent spending hike for social care.
Also of note, 45 percent agree with increasing National Insurance and 42 percent back increasing income tax to fund any spending increase, and “in both cases more agreed with these options than disagreed,” the NHS Confederation noted.
“What this shows is overwhelming support across the country for increased funding for the NHS but also for social care,” said Niall Dickson, the Confederation’s chief executive. "The public increasingly realises the importance of a health and care system that is fit for the future.
“The message is simple - if we want good, effective and safe services, we will have to find the resources to pay for them…It is now for the politicians to decide what to do next – the greatest risk lies in doing nothing.”
The poll results closely follow publication of a key report by the IFS and Health Foundation, commissioned by the Confederation, which concluded that pressures on the health and care system will continue to rise because of the growing and ageing population with more complex needs.
The think tanks calculated that for the next 15 years NHS funding alone will need to increase by at least 4 percent a year - which equates to around £2,000 per UK household - to meet the needs of an ageing population and an increasing number of younger adults living with disabilities, while social care spend will need to rise by 3.9 percent.
The NHS Confederation also recently launched a petition urging the government to commit to a funding plan for health and social care to 2035, to help address “crippling effects” of rising demand, underfunding and workforce shortages.