The vast majority of the public would be willing to accept tax increases to secure significant improvements in the NHS, finds a new poll by Ipos Mori commissioned by the NHS Confederation.

Some 84 percent of 1,004 adults surveyed across England, Scotland and Wales said they would pay more tax if the NHS’ level of service ‘improved a great deal’, compared with 75 percent who would be willing to pay more tax for slightly improved services.

Even 61 percent said they would be willing to pay more if it meant that services would remain at current levels.

The government recently announced a five-year funding deal for the NHS equivalent to an average of 3.4 percent a year increase.

However, the NHS Confederation is arguing that this falls under the 4 percent a year the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation say is necessary for the health service to cope with rising demand and ‘modestly’ improve.

“The poll shows that the British people are willing to pay more for better care and that there is an understanding we have to change the way we deliver care – we cannot go on as we have been,” said the group’s chief executive Niall Dickson.

"It is now undeniably clear there is an appetite among the taxpayers to put their hands in their pockets for the cash we need to make the NHS a service we can be proud of in its 70th year and for the years to come.”

Prime Minister Theresa May recently said that taxpayers would “have to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use”.