Lack of funding behind fall in satisfaction with the NHS

The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) says there are multiple reasons why public satisfaction in the NHS has fallen to its lowest ever level, with a lack of funding at the top.

According to the British Social Attitudes survey fewer than a quarter of people (24 per cent) were satisfied with the NHS in 2023.

It is a five per cent drop from the previous year and down 46 per cent from the highest-ever recorded satisfaction rating of 70 per cent in 2010.

The biggest reasons for dissatisfaction with the NHS were waiting times, staff shortages and a lack of Government investment in the service.

Steve Taylor, DAUK’s GP spokesperson, said: “After 14 years of austerity, cuts and underinvestment, these figures come as no surprise to me, and I’m sure to many who work in the NHS.

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Steve Taylor, DAUK GP committee spokesperson

DAUK’s GP spokesperson Dr Steve Taylor says a lack of funding lies behind the drop in public satisfaction with the NHS

“There are a lot of reasons for public satisfaction in the NHS being at its lowest level including poor leadership and poor decisions.

“The most important one is a failure to invest adequately in all areas of the service, particularly in the areas that would make the most difference, such as general practice.

“Getting a GP appointment was one of the biggest frustrations for people, but if we look at general practice, it accounts for 1.3 million appointments every day, almost double the total number of appointments in all other areas of the NHS.

“Despite this, general practice receives just 5.4 per cent of the NHS budget and has had funding reduced by 20 per cent in real terms per patient since 2016.

“It’s led to the number of GPs falling by seven per cent, and yet GPs are doing 20 per cent more appointments.

“It seems to me the blame lies with MPs and not GPs.”