Britons are most likely to think their healthcare system is overstretched

Many Britons say the NHS is overstrained but many still have faith in the quality of care, according to a new global Ipsos poll.

The author(s)

  • Anna Quigley Public Affairs
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New global polling from Ipsos MORI finds the majority of Britons (81%) agree that our healthcare system is overstretched, compared with 55% globally.  We are also concerned about the future of the NHS, with 33% of people expecting the quality of healthcare to get worse in the coming years and just 14% expecting it to improve – we are the least optimistic on this measure, along with France.

Healthcare capacity

The British public think the biggest challenges for the NHS are not enough staff (49%), access to treatment/waiting times (43%) and lack of investment (37%).

However, Brits are also one of the most satisfied nations, with three quarters (74%) of people rating their healthcare as good or very good. The British have high levels of trust that they will be provided with the best treatment, with 68% agreeing, compared with 50% globally, and we also believe that everyone will receive the same standard of care (63%).

Quality of healthcare

Britons are also happy with the availability of information about the healthcare system and looking after themselves. Almost three-quarters (73%) agree that information about healthcare services is readily available when needed, while 77% say information about how to look after their own health is easily accessible. 

Anna Quigley, Research Director at Ipsos MORI, says:

As we have seen in the past, the British public continues to value the NHS and the quality of care it provides. But they also continue to fret about its future; a concern that may be driven in equal parts by the affection people have for the NHS, and a belief that it cannot cope with the burdens placed on it, particularly now. 

Technical note

  • This 27-country Global Advisor survey was conducted between September 25th and October 9th, 2020 via the Ipsos Online Panel system among 20,009 adults aged 18-74 in Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, and 16-74 in all 22 other countries. 
  • The sample consists of approximately 1000+ individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the US, and approximately 500+ individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
  • The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75. 
  • The samples in Brazil, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of these populations. 
  • Weighting has been employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent census data.
  • The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
  • Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses
  • The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

The author(s)

  • Anna Quigley Public Affairs

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