A new survey carried out by the King’s Fund health charity in the UK indicates that the general public’s levels of satisfaction with the running of the NHS have seen a marked drop. The number of people who were satisfied in 2010 ran at 70%, a figure which fell significantly to 58% in 2011. The King’s Fund describes the result as “the biggest fall in one year since the British Social Attitudes survey began in 1983″ however they do also point out that despite the massive drop, the current satisfaction level is still one of the higher ones as satisfaction has grown steadily prior to this fall.
The head of the NHS Confederation (the membership body for all organisations that commission and provide NHS services) commented that the King’s Fund’s survey findings were “a sharp indication” of the public currently being “worried and confused” about what’s happening with the NHS at the moment. The NHS Confederation chief also said he believed that much of the result related to recent reforms within the service.
The Kings Fund website goes into some detail about the survey’s findings, but explains that results may in part be down to perception as well as experience given that it was the general public and not a specific section who had just recently used the NHS that were surveyed.
Of course, it’s a statistical inevitability that some of the people surveyed will have been recent service users and who could even be on a waiting list for treatment. One way for people to avoid waiting lists is to buy health cover. In the UK people can buy health insurance policies that allow eligible treatment to be done privately if the waiting list above six weeks, otherwise it’s done on the NHS.