NHS at 70 - Public attitudes to the health and care system

For the NHS at 70 debate in London on 9 May 2018, Ipsos MORI was commissioned to find out the public's views towards funding of the NHS, and their priorities when receiving care.

The author(s)

  • Michelle Mackie Public Affairs
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NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Royal College of Physicians and National Voices commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out a survey with the general public in England about their views towards funding of the NHS, and their priorities when receiving care. The exclusive poll was carried out ahead of a major debate held on the evening of Wednesday 9th May 2018, in central London, to mark the NHS’ 70th anniversary.

  • When asked to consider the NHS over the next few years, 21% reported that they expect it will get better, whilst 31% said it will stay the same and 46% said it will get worse.
  • More than two in three (68%) said urgent and emergency care such as A&E and ambulance services should be a priority for additional health and social care funding. Investment in mental health services was the next main priority (58%) for additional spending, followed by community and adult social care services (40%) and children’s services (40%).
  • When asked what is most important to them when receiving non-emergency care, 38% of people reported that receiving the highest quality of care is most important. 21% of people said that short waiting times was most important, and 11% of people said that being treated close to home was most important.

Commenting on the polling, Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MORI, said:

The public continue to show strong support for the NHS as it approaches its 70th anniversary.
However, there is real concern about the future funding of the NHS, and a majority agree it needs more money. If the NHS does receive more money, asked where it should go, the public prioritise A&E and emergency services - often the public face of the NHS - but also mental health services, often a Cinderella service. This suggests the public may have a more sophisticated understanding of the multiple challenges facing local health services. Either way, if government needs to raise taxes, spending it on the NHS is about the most popular thing they can do.

Technical Note

Ipsos MORI carried out the exclusive telephone polling with a sample of 917 adults aged 18+ in England between 26th – 29th April 2018.

About the NHS at 70 debate

The NHS at 70 debate was delivered in partnership by NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners, Royal College of Physicians, National Voices and Ipsos MORI.
The debate brought together a panel of experts and commentators, including our own Chief Executive Ben Page, to give their views on the solutions they think are needed to ensure the NHS thrives for another 70 years.


The author(s)

  • Michelle Mackie Public Affairs

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