8 in 10 think the NHS is coping well with treating Coronavirus patients at the moment, but only just over half say the same for other services

Despite concerns about the NHS's ability to deal with other services, most Britons have confidence in their ability to deal with coronavirus patients

The author(s)

  • Joanna Barry Public Affairs
  • Kate Duxbury Public Affairs
  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
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As we reach one of the hardest times of the year for the NHS, new research by Ipsos shows eight in ten Britons (79%) think the NHS is coping well with treating coronavirus patients at the moment, compared to only 15% who disagree. However, significantly fewer say the NHS is coping well with other services: just over half (54%) think the NHS is coping well with other services, whilst two in five (41%) say the NHS is not coping well. 

Among the relatively small proportion who say the NHS is not coping well with treating Coronavirus patients, 43% believe the government is responsible and one-quarter (27%) think the NHS is responsible. Overall, 14% blame the general public and 12% believe no one/thing is responsible, it is simply due to the current circumstances. 

Among those who say the NHS is not coping well with providing other services, half (48%) say this is due to the government while 18% place responsibility with the NHS, and 21% believe it is because of the current situation. 

Despite concerns about how well the NHS is coping with other services, seven in ten (71%) Britons are confident in the NHS’s ability to give them the care they need, compared with just one-quarter (26%) who are not. However, almost four in ten (37%) say they have less confidence in the abilities of the NHS now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 21% say they have more confidence in the health system now than before the outbreak while 39% say they feel the same level of confidence now as they did before. 

Among those who don’t have confidence in the NHS’s ability to give them the care they need, 73% have less confidence now than before the pandemic. While those who are confident in the NHS’s ability are more likely to say their confidence has not changed (47%), and equally likely to say their confidence has improved or got worse (27% and 24% respectively).  

Kate Duxbury, Research Director at Ipsos, said:

As the NHS feels the effects of Omicron, the public think the NHS is coping well with Coronavirus patients – though they are more concerned about how other NHS services are coping. Despite this, they are still confident in the NHS’s ability to give them the care they need. It remains to be seen if the continuing herculean efforts of the NHS and its staff can live up to the public’s expectations – if only the public could will the NHS through this challenging time.

Technical note:

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,032 British adults aged 18-75. Interviews were conducted online between 16-18 December 2021. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
 

The author(s)

  • Joanna Barry Public Affairs
  • Kate Duxbury Public Affairs
  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research

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