Results from the annual British Social Attitudes survey show that public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen from 70% last year to 58% - the largest annual drop since the survey started in 1983.
The study, funded by the King’s Fund think tank, questioned 1,096 people about their views on health care between July and November last year. It also found drops in satisfaction with GPs, inpatient and outpatient services, and accident and emergency services.
It speaks volumes that the first fall in public satisfaction with the NHS for over a decade came in the first full year of this Government’s control. I think it takes a special kind of incompetence to inherit a successful NHS with patient satisfaction at an all-time high and in just two years turn it into an organisation demoralised, destabilised and fearful of the future.
Patients can already see the damage being done to services and staff morale by the Government’s disastrous decision to reorganise the NHS at a time of financial stress. As well as wasting £3 billion on a reckless top down reorganisation, the Government have scrapped waiting time guarantees for hospital treatments and GP appointments, and made a £1.2 billion real cut in funding for England’s NHS services.
I fear the NHS may be heading back to the bad old days of the 80s and 90s with A&E in chaos and patients waiting for hours on trolleys in corridors. In fact we are already seeing locally the results of the Government’s damaging health policies, as the numbers of people who waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment in Rotherham has increased by 78%.
The NHS was working and people will not forgive the Prime Minister for allowing it to be turned upside down in a wasteful reorganisation at the worst possible time.