The public and the NHS: What’s the deal?

The Kings Fund, June 2018

Report on three ‘deliberative workshops’ to explore how the public views its relationship with the NHS.

  • Finds that the relationship between the public and the NHS is strong, people are committed to its founding principles. There are several areas where the NHS could improve – not least around waste.
  • While there was a feeling that some people take the NHS for granted and demand too much, the workshops felt that their expectations of the NHS were largely being met and that those expectations were realistic.
  • Funding was seen as a problem and government is seen as responsible. Most people would be willing to pay more tax to maintain the NHS, and many people favoured a dedicated NHS tax.
  • There was recognition that some inappropriate use is made of the service placing additional pressure on the system. More could be done by the NHS to support responsible use of the service.
  • Individuals have a key role in keeping themselves healthy but mixed views about the role of the NHS – and wider government – in addressing this were evident.
  • There was mistrust of a ‘nanny state’, people often supported specific government interventions such as the smoking ban.
  • Demonstrates broad agreement for the concept of a contract or deal in clarifying the balance between an individual’s responsibility for their health and the government’s and the NHS’s responsibility.

Click here to view the full report.