People do not want cuts made to other public services to protect NHS, survey finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 25 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1082
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The public thinks that the NHS wastes money, and people are not willing to see further cuts to other public services to preserve current NHS services, the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey has found.

The NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, has said that the NHS will need at least an extra £8bn (€10.9bn; $12.4bn) to plug a funding shortfall by the end of the next government term to protect services.1 The authors of the survey report, Public Attitudes to the NHS,2 said that this raises important questions about where this money should come from and how the NHS should be funded in the future.

A total of 2878 people in Britain were questioned during the summer and early autumn of 2014 for the BSA survey. Most respondents (89%) supported the principles of a tax funded NHS that is free at the point of use and provides comprehensive care. Labour supporters were slightly more likely to have this view.

However, more than half (51%) of …

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