About the British Social Attitudes survey 2012

NatCen's British Social Attitudes survey has been conducted almost every year since 1983. Overall, nearly 85,000 people have taken part. A selection of health care-related questions – including those on satisfaction reported here – has been funded by The King's Fund since 2011. Other funders sponsor other questions on a variety of topics.

Latest public satisfaction survey

View the most recent results: British Social Attitudes survey 2015.

Sample and approach

The 2012 survey consisted of 3,248 interviews with a representative sample of adults in Britain. Addresses are selected at random and visited by one of NatCen Social Research's interviewers. After selecting one adult (aged 18 and over) at the address (again at random), the interviewer carries out an hour-long interview. Most questions are answered by the participant selecting an answer from a set of cards.

The sample size for the health care questions reported here was 1,103. The data is weighted to correct for the unequal probabilities of selection, and for biases caused by differential non-response. The weighted sample is calibrated to match the population in terms of age, sex and region. The margin of error in 2012 for the health care questions was around +/-2 to 6 percentage points.

The 2012 survey was conducted between July and September, with a small number of interviews taking place in October and November.


The topics covered by the survey change from year to year, depending on the identities and interests of its funders. Some questions are asked every year, some every couple of years, and some less frequently.


The survey is funded by a range of charitable and government sources, which change from year to year. The survey is directed by NatCen Social Research. NatCen carries out research in the fields of social and public policy, uncovering the truth about people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, NatCen focuses its time and energy on meeting clients' needs and delivering social research that works for society.