Government has failed to make case for seven-day NHS, BMA poll suggests

Just one person in eight believes the government has explained how it will staff a seven-day NHS and only one in 10 say it has made clear how the service will be funded, a poll commissioned by the BMA has found.

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter
BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter

The survey carried out by BritainThinks asked 1,240 people for their views on the future of the NHS and found that 78% were worried about the future of the health service.

Another finding from the survey was that more than three-quarters (77%) of people thought the government’s policies on the NHS were leading to growing discontent across the NHS workforce, and that fewer than one in five (18%) of people trusted the government with the management of the NHS.

The poll was published to coincide with the BMA’s annual representative meeting, and BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said public confidence in the government’s management of the NHS was extremely low.

‘There is a gulf between the government’s promises on the NHS and what the public believe to be true,’ he said.

NHS reform

‘Everyone agrees that the NHS needs to grow and change, yet there is no long-term plan to address the crisis in our health service.

‘It’s little wonder that many people question the government’s commitment to the NHS and believe it is going in the wrong direction.’

A DH spokeswoman said: ‘The NHS is busy, but performing well despite the additional pressures of our ageing population – with 1.6m more operations taking place each year and an extra 9,500 doctors and 10,800 nurses on our wards since 2010. Patient experience has also improved, with 85% of patients now reporting that their care and treatment was 'good' or better.

‘We are committed to delivering a safer seven-day NHS and have fully funded the NHS’s own plan for the future with an extra £10bn per year by 2020 to transform services.’

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