Nearly nine in ten (88%) adults across the United Kingdom say they trust doctors to tell the truth, according to a new nation-wide poll carried out by Ipsos for the British Medical Association, making doctors the most trusted profession measured. Politicians, however, remain the least trusted profession measured, with just one in seven people (14%) saying they trust politicians in general to tell the truth; just one person in six, 17%, say they trust government ministers. To make matters worse for politicians at all levels, more people say they trust journalists (19%) and bankers (29%) than politicians. The second most trusted profession measured are teachers - 81% say they trust teachers to tell the truth - putting them in a strong place to carry out their threat of resisting the Coalition Government’s pensions proposals. Teachers are only seven points behind doctors and ahead of any other of the professions which have been tested by the research firm since 1983. Since 1983 at least half of the public has said they trust the ordinary man/woman in the street to tell the truth; this remains the case in 2011 with a 55% score. The biggest fall in the public’s level of trust from the last time the survey was conducted, in 2009, is of judges (down eight points, from 80% to 72%), teachers (down seven from 88% to 81%), professors (down six points from 80% to 74%) and pollsters (down 6 from 45% to 39%).
Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos said:
"Politicians continue to have the lowest level of public trust, well below that of bankers. However, we have never trusted politicians much. Despite media controversy about a collapse in trust, the public trust each other as much as they always have, and doctors remain the most trusted profession of all - as they have since we began the study in 1983."
Sir Robert Worcester, Founder of MORI, said:
“Ever since 1983, when we first started asking the public’s view of who they trust, more people have said they trust doctors than any other profession or occupation, and they remain so today. It just goes to show how much faith the public place in doctors. It will be interesting to see if the public’s trust in doctors is maintained following the proposed changes to their role in the reforms of the NHS.”