Emergency services top spending priorities poll

21 May 18

Emergency care – such as ambulance and A&E - should be the priority for extra health care spending, 68% of respondents to a poll have said.

Investment in mental health services was the next main priority at 58% of people, among 917 adults in England surveyed by Ipsos MORI. 

The poll, released earlier this month, was commissioned by NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Royal College of Physicians and charity National Voices.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “Following the busiest winter on record for the NHS, it is clear that A&E and emergency services are perceived to be underfunded and overstretched by the public.

“These findings also show that properly funded mental health services are important to the public and the government must ensure its long term plan for health and care reflects this.”

Community and adult social care and children’s services were highlighted as a priority by 40% of respondents.

Jane Dacre, RCP president, said: “From the results of the poll we can see that people are very aware of the pinch-points in the NHS where it is under the most pressure.

“In addition to the public support for more funding, we need the NHS and social care [sectors] to work together better provide seamless care for patients, whether in hospitals or in the community.”

Amyas Morse told a Local Government Association conference last week the NHS and social care should work more closely together.

He also called for adult social care to have a funding settlement similar to that of the NHS.

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MORI, said the results of the survey demonstrated the public may have a “sophisticated understanding of the multiple challenges facing local health services”. 

He added: “Either way, if government needs to raise taxes, spending it on the NHS is about the most popular thing they can do.”

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