Fall in NHS satisfaction12th June 2012
Data collected by the British Social Attitudes Survey has shown a significant fall in public satisfaction with the health service.
The survey, which polled 1,096 people and had its NHS questions sponsored by The King's Fund, found satisfaction levels dropped from 70% to 58% and was the largest decrease since it was started in 1983.
However, the government said the results of the poll did not tally with the information collected by its annual Patients' Survey, which showed 92% of patients rated their NHS care as "good, very good or excellent".
The poll's respondents were asked how "satisfied or dissatisfied" they were about the manner in which the NHS was run.
Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund, said the data collected was significant as it measured patients' levels of satisfaction over a considerable time frame.
He added: "It is not surprising this has happened when the NHS is facing a well-publicised spending squeeze. Nevertheless, it is something of a shock that it has fallen so significantly."
"This will be a concern to the government given it appears to be closely linked with the debate on its NHS reforms."
Health minister Simon Burns said: "The British Social Attitudes Survey targets the general public rather than targeting people that have actually used the NHS, so responses are influenced by other factors. By its nature it is not as accurate a picture as the data from patients."
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