Public satisfaction with the NHS in 2014

This project has been completed

The results and satisfaction trends relating to the NHS and health care issues from the British Social Attitudes survey 2014.

Key points

  • Overall public satisfaction with the NHS increased to 65 per cent in 2014 – the second highest level since the British Social Attitudes survey began in 1983. Dissatisfaction with the service fell to an all-time low of 15 per cent.
  • GP services remain the most popular NHS service in terms of satisfaction, with 71 per cent satisfied in 2014.
  • Dentistry continued to have lower satisfaction ratings than other NHS services: in 2014 just over half of respondents were satisfied with the service.
  • Outpatient services experienced an all-time high in satisfaction levels of 69 per cent in 2014, almost rivalling general practice as the most popular NHS service.
  • Inpatient services showed little change with a satisfaction rating of 59 per cent.
  • For accident and emergency (A&E) services, satisfaction increased from 53 to 58 per cent between 2013 and 2014, after fluctuating in previous years.
  • Social care had far lower satisfaction levels than NHS services – just one-third of respondents reported being satisfied, less than half the level reported for the NHS overall.
  • Satisfaction among respondents with no recent contact with the NHS jumped 11 percentage points between 2013 and 2014, compared to a 4 percentage point increase among those with recent contact.
  • Labour supporters’ levels of satisfaction with the NHS also jumped 11 percentage points, those for Conservative supporters remained roughly the same and Liberal Democrat satisfaction levels increased by 5 percentage points.
  • The increase in satisfaction with the NHS during a year in which the service was under much publicised financial pressure and with notable difficulties with A&E waiting times may in part reflect an actual increase in satisfaction, but also a desire among the public to show support for the health service. Read our conclusion

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