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NHS ahead of Brexit in ‘biggest issues’ facing Britain, survey finds


15 February 2017

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Nearly half of the British public consider the NHS to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain at the moment, according to an Ipsos Mori survey.

The January 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index shows that concern has risen by 9% since December, reaching the highest level recorded since April 2003.

The NHS is ahead of Brexit in public concern, which has risen to 41% a similar level to July last year when it hit 40% in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result.

Nearly half of the British public consider the NHS to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain at the moment, according to an Ipsos Mori survey.

The January 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index shows that concern has risen by 9% since December, reaching the highest level recorded since April 2003.

The NHS is ahead of Brexit in public concern, which has risen to 41% a similar level to July last year when it hit 40% in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result.

However, when asked which is the single biggest issue facing Britain, more people chose Brexit (27%) over the NHS (17%).

The percentage of people who name the NHS as one of the biggest issues is high in nearly all demographic groups but particularly spikes with women (53%), those aged over 65 (55%) and people who live in the suburbs (54%).

The data was collected from a sample of 970 adults, who were surveyed in face-to-face interviews at home between 13th and 26th January 2017.

Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘These results show the public are increasingly concerned about the pressures facing the NHS and should be a wakeup call for ministers.

‘The government needs to be honest about what the health service can deliver with its budget. If it wants to maintain current standards, it will need to look again at NHS funding in future financial statements. In particular, the pressures will peak in 2018/19 and 2019/20, when there is almost no planned growth in real-terms NHS funding.’

A NatCen survey on British Social Attitudes found last week that satisfaction with the NHS has dropped by 5% in the last year, with only 60% of the public happy with the health service.

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