Only 12% of the public believe the right policies are in place to support healthcare staff and services.
The general public is concerned about the pressure on NHS staff and services, new polling data has revealed.
New data from the Health Foundation and Ipsos shows that, despite a government pledge to “Protect the NHS” during the pandemic, only 12% of the public believe the right policies are in place to support healthcare staff and services.
In the face of 57% of the public believing the standard of care provided by the NHS has got worse in the last 12 months, public support for the core principles of the NHS remains very strong.
The vast majority think that the NHS should be free at the point of delivery (89%), provide a comprehensive service available to everyone (88%), and should be funded primarily through taxation (85%).
The public appears most concerned about workforce pressures on the NHS, as well as elective care waiting times. Their three main priorities, according to the report, are; addressing the pressure on or workload of the NHS staff, increasing the number of staff in the NHS, and improving waiting times for routine services.
Demoralised, undervalued staff.
Responding to the report, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) England Director Patricia Marquis said: “People believe in the principles behind the NHS but this polling shows the public have little faith in how the Government is supporting health and social care services to deliver what is needed now and in the future.
“Many people agree with us that the biggest issue for our entire health and care system in England is addressing the pressures on staff. Staff are being spread thinner and thinner and struggling to care for their patients safely.
“Meanwhile, the Government has stood idle while soaring numbers of demoralised, undervalued staff are thinking of leaving nursing for a job elsewhere.
“The failure to tackle longstanding staffing vacancies puts patient care at risks and ministers need to produce urgently a fully-funded workforce strategy with the right skills in the right places.
“The workforce amendments we are backing to the Health and Care Bill, currently being debated in the Lords, are the best way to bring about the change nursing staff want to see.”