Relentless challenges facing NHS take toll on public satisfaction

27 March 2024

Responding to The King's Fund and Nuffield Trust analysis of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey, showing that public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level since records began, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"Relentless challenges facing the NHS and social care have inevitably impacted public satisfaction with these services.

"Rising demand, inadequate funding and a shortage of resources have created immense strain on the system for years. This chronic pressure has been intensified by the pandemic, further financial constraints and industrial action.

"However, it's crucial to recognise that public support for the fundamental principles of the NHS is unwavering.

"Despite the obstacles, trust leaders and their teams are steadfast in their commitment to restoring services and delivering high-quality care. Efforts are underway to tackle backlogs, prioritise the most urgent treatments and improve access to care across various specialties.

"But these findings make clear that ahead of a general election, politicians must prioritise the sustainability of the NHS. We need to see sustained investment, including by fully funding the long-term workforce plan and resolving the damaging and disruptive industrial disputes.

"What's more, these efforts must be bolstered by long-overdue reform of social care, which is intrinsically linked to the NHS. Social care workers need to be adequately paid, with working conditions improved, to better support the vital role they play in delivering care."