Biggest drop in NHS satisfaction in decades – MP urges PM to keep promise

John Healey has called on David Cameron to live up to his promise to protect the NHS, after the biggest drop in public satisfaction with the NHS in almost 30 years.

Results from the annual British Social Attitudes survey show that public satisfaction has fallen from 70% last year to 53% – the largest drop since the survey started in 1983.

The study, funded by the King’s Fund think tank, questioned 1,096 people about their views on health care between July and November last year. It also found drops in satisfaction with GPs, inpatient and outpatient services and accident and emergency services.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP, who was shadow health secretary when the survey was carried out, said: “The Tories and their Lib Dem allies inherited an NHS with the highest-ever levels of public satisfaction and in their first full year in charge these levels have plummeted by a record amount.

“We’re already seeing the results of the Conservative-led Government’s damaging health policies as the numbers of people who waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment has increased by 78% in Rotherham and 21% in Barnsley.

“The Tories’ abysmal record on the NHS also includes wasting £3 billion on a reckless top down reorganisation, scrapping Labour’s waiting time guarantees for hospital treatments and GP appointments and making a £1.2 billion real cut in funding for England’s NHS services.

“The NHS is simply too important to keep going backwards under the Tories.

“The lessons to be learnt from this survey are clear: people want to see their NHS properly protected and David Cameron has to change course to stop it sinking further into chaos.”

During the 2010 general election campaign David Cameron promised he would “protect frontline services” but these results show that the British public clearly believe the NHS is deteriorating on his watch.