NEWS25 June 2018

Qual shows people feel ‘proud and lucky’ to have NHS

Healthcare News Public Sector UK

UK – Qualitative research by the Ipsos Mori for The King’s Fund has explored how the UK public views the NHS as it approaches its 70th birthday.

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Among its key findings were that this relationship is strong, with people still committed to its founding principles. However, there were areas that the NHS could improve – particularly around waste.

Although there was a feeling that some people take the NHS for granted and demand too much from it, the participants generally felt their expectations of the NHS were being met.

The lack of funding is seen as a problem with the government being held responsible. A dedicated NHS tax was favoured by many respondents, with a willingness to pay more tax to support the service.

While the ‘nanny state’ is mistrusted, specific interventions such as smoking bans were supported. There were mixed views on the role of the NHS and the government in keeping people healthy.

There was broad agreement for the concept of a contract or deal in clarifying the balance between an individual’s responsibility for their health and the government’s and the NHS’s responsibility.

The qual research involved three ‘deliberative workshops’ – of about 25 people in each – in London, Nuneaton and Preston to delve into the relationship that the public has with its national health service. Participants were also invited to contribute to an online community.

The report states: “Most people described the NHS as a key part of society that they were proud of and felt lucky to have…Some people were negate e about their day-to-day interactions with the service. People are aware that the challenges the NHS faces, particularly around funding, staff shortages and waiting times, could impact negatively on their experiences.”