Views on service provision
Health and Care Survey, September 2021

Key findings on views on NHS and care

  • Nine in ten people (92%) feel very lucky to have the NHS – a widely shared view of people of all ages in all parts of our country 
  • More than eight in ten people (85%) see NHS staff as overstretched but doing as much as they can with the resources available  
  • Paid and unpaid carers, nurses and paramedics top the list of the most undervalued staff groups according to the public 
  • Nine in ten people (92%) aged 65+ are hoping to receive care in their home, if they end up needing care due to old age
  • Three quarters of people (75%) are satisfied with their access to health and care services, but most of this group still have concerns about funding.

Gratitude to the NHS

In Engage Britain’s Community Conversations, many expressed gratitude to the NHS and to the commitment shown by staff: 

“The NHS is absolutely amazing organisation, and we don’t know how lucky we are. (…) I think that when it comes to specific interventions needed under crisis, they’re just amazing and perpetually amazing in the hardest of circumstances as well.
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Our survey shows that people of all ages and income groups across the country feel very lucky to have the NHS.  Two in five say although they’ve had bad experiences, they’d never want to lose it. Most people also agree with the view that the NHS makes them proud to be British. 

Use the arrows below explore the responses to three questions about feelings towards the NHS.

Carers and nurses seen as most undervalued

In the Community Conversations, many people were concerned about the welfare of staff:  

Staff within both the care and the health systems are under underpaid, understaffed, under recognised and never given the appropriate time.” 
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People of all ages and political views across our country largely share the view that NHS staff are overstretched but doing as much as they possibly can with the resources available. When asked about undervalued professions, paid and unpaid carers, nurses and paramedics top the list.  

Use the arrows below explore the responses to two questions about health and care staff.

Care at home a strong preference

Care in old age also came up in Community Conversations. Given a choice, many said they’d prefer to stay in their own home rather than be looked after in a hospital or care home. As one participant explained:  

“Caring for people in their homes is far better for most people than being cared  for in a hospital […]. And in the end, they may need to go into care homes but  care in the home can be a better outcome, provided that you don’t get put to  bed at five o’clock in the afternoon which currently is what happens with many  people.” 
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Our survey found that 86% of UK adults and 92% of people aged 65+ hope to receive care in their home, if they end up needing care due to old age. 

Access is largely satisfactory

In the Community Conversations, many people raised concerns about funding, though without being directly concerned about access: 

“You can trust and rely on the NHS. Their commitment is second to none, albeit with, you know, difficulties of resource and difficulties of pressure.” 
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Whilst most people (75%) report that they’re happy with their access to health and care services, seven in ten people (71%) express concern about underfunding.

About this survey

Engage Britain has commissioned a nationally representative survey of 4,010 UK adults (18+).

The purpose of the survey is to explore how common experiences raised in the Community Conversations are and to explore views on health and care.

The survey was commissioned by Engage Britain and conducted by Yonder. Online fieldwork was undertaken 5-8 July 2021.

See the full results in the polling tables here.