What do the public think about the NHS?

An Ipsos MORI survey for The King’s Fund shows that support for the NHS and its founding principles is as strong as ever.

What do the public think about the NHS?

The author(s)

  • Kate Duxbury Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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The King’s Fund commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a survey on the public’s views about the NHS. We set out to answer the following questions. Do the public believe the NHS should be maintained? Do they still believe in its founding principles? What do they see as their responsibility when it comes to their own health? Do they want a say in how decisions that affect the NHS are made? Do they think people’s expectations of the service are realistic and do they think those expectations are being met?

The findings show that support for the NHS and its founding principles is as strong as ever.

  • The public’s support for the NHS being maintained in its current form remains high. Three quarters support this (77%), while one quarter think that the NHS cannot be maintained (23%). This level of support has remained consistent over almost two decades.
  • Around nine in ten people think the founding principles of the NHS should still apply to services today.
  • Two-thirds of adults are willing to pay more of their own taxes to pay for the NHS (66%).
  • The same proportion think that treatments and services should only be available on the NHS if they are available to everyone and not dependent on where you live (67%).  Three in ten think that treatments and services should be based on local need (31%).

Technical note

Interviews were carried out on Capibus, Ipsos MORI’s face-to-face omnibus survey. A total of 1,151 adults aged 15 and over in England were interviewed between 4th and 10th August 2017 in their homes using computer-aided personal interviewing methodology.

Data are weighted to reflect the population profile in England. Data are weighted to age, region, working status and social grade within gender, as well as household tenure and participant ethnicity using rim weighting.

Where relevant we have compared the findings from this survey to findings from previous research to understand how attitudes have changed over time.

The author(s)

  • Kate Duxbury Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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