Trust leaders face uphill battle to restore public satisfaction in the NHS

17 May 2024

Responding to a new report today from the Health Foundation and Ipsos on what the public thinks about the NHS in England, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Sir Julian Hartley said:

"Leaders across the NHS know they face an uphill battle to restore public satisfaction in the NHS with survey after survey revealing patients' concerns about standards and access to health care.

"They will be deeply worried that more than half of the people surveyed believe the standard of care provided by NHS services will worsen in the coming year.

"While it is reassuring that public support for the founding principles of the NHS remain rock solid, it is undeniable that factors such as rising demand, squeezed funding and workforce shortages have all taken their toll.

"NHS trust leaders are committed to restoring services and delivering high quality care. Due to the hard work of frontline teams, steady progress is being made on tackling waiting lists, prioritising the most urgent treatments and driving forward improvements across all parts of the health and care system.

"But they know they can go further and faster. Ensuring more people are treated in the right healthcare setting is part of the solution.

"Trust leaders know that investing in crucial community, primary care and prevention services could reap dividends by helping our ageing population live healthier lives, boosting preventative care and easing the burden on overstretched hospitals. They have seen how community-led initiatives such as urgent community response teams and virtual wards are delivering results for patients.

"With a general election fast approaching, it's vital any future government commits to working with the NHS to expand primary and community care services and funding so that more patients can be cared for closer to home.

"By doing so, the government and NHS can make the whole health and care system work better, become more sustainable, and help create the 'next generation' NHS we all want to see."