Four out of five people want the NHS to be given extra funding, a new survey from the Health Foundation has revealed.
“With the clock ticking to the next election, both the main parties risk being out of step with public opinion on health and social care,” warned the Health Foundation’s assistant director of policy, Tim Gardner, in response to new figures obtained via polling in collaboration with Ipsos.
Support for providing the NHS with additional funding spans the entire political spectrum, encompassing those intending to vote Labour (93%), Liberal Democrat (90%), Conservative (60%), and everybody else (66%).
This comes as the research also showed that the public consider alleviating pressure and workload on staff (40%), recruiting more people (39%), and cutting waiting times for routine services (34%) as the main priorities for the NHS.
Views around the future of the health and care sector remain pessimistic with approximately half expecting the standard of the NHS (54%) and social care (52%) to decline over the next year.
Half (50%) also believe the public health and wellbeing will get worse.
These statistics are “sadly not surprising” according to NHS Providers’ director of policy and strategy, Miriam Deakin.
She said: “Years of inadequate resourcing, a pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and now strikes have dealt huge successive blows to hospital, ambulance, mental health and community services.”
While the reluctance to invest in the NHS is “understandable” given the current economic landscape, the NHS Confederation’s chief executive, Matthew Taylor, urges the government to take a long-term outlook and see extra funding as “a down payment on the future health” of the country.
Taylor underlines last year’s analysis that showed for every £1 invested in the NHS, the UK economy receives another £4 in return via improvements to productivity and participation in the labour market.
"NHS leaders want to see the next government implement health policy that truly does think about the drivers of health and wellbeing, and not just think of health policy as a synonym of NHS policy,” concluded Taylor.
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