Patients’ satisfaction with the NHS stayed ‘steady’ in 2016, according to data from the King’s Fund.
Findings were published on 31 March, showing 63% of people were satisfied with the NHS from July-October 2016, up from 60% in 2015 but short of the 70% peak measured in 2010. However, the King’s Fund still described the score as ‘high by historic standards’.
NHS England’s chief nursing officer Professor Jane Cummings said: ‘I personally welcome the positive conclusions of the King's Fund survey. It matches our own findings and, more importantly, highlights the fantastic work our people do all day, every day.’
The aspects most cited by those who were satisfied with the NHS were the quality of care (65%), care being free at the point of use (59%), and the range of services available (47%).
Among the 22% dissatisfied with the NHS, the most chosen reasons were waiting times (54%), lack of staff (48%), and lack of funding (45%). Satisfaction with GP services was 72%, which is higher than for any other NHS service
The survey also shows that people continued to be much more satisfied with the NHS than social care. Only 26% of respondents were satisfied with local authority social care services, less than half the level of satisfaction with A&E, the least popular NHS service.
King’s Fund policy fellow Ruth Robertson said: ‘The survey findings demonstrate the high value the British public place on the quality of care provided by the NHS and how they cherish the availability of a comprehensive service that is free at the point of use.
‘It’s unsurprising that dissatisfaction with the NHS is mostly driven by waiting times, staff shortages, and underfunding, as the NHS is facing severe financial pressures.’