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What’s the number one issue facing Britain right now?

Health and care is the number one priority for people across the country

It doesn’t matter who you are – where you live, how old you are or how you vote.

There’s one challenge we – the people of this country – all believe needs sorting, according to our recent BritainThinks national poll.

And that’s health and care.

Brits put the needs of health and care staff first

It’s not just the obvious stuff – like getting waiting times down – that we believe need most attention.

Up and down the country, we care more about improving pay and working conditions for our health and care workers – as well as addressing staff shortages.

Getting access to health and care, throughout our lives, is also a big priority.

As for the NHS, most of us feel confident it will always be there for us when we need it. But we also get that it has to have enough financial support. A massive 63% agree that tax increases will be needed to properly fund it.

But older and younger people have different priorities when it comes to exactly what health and care issues need sorting first.

Older people are more likely to want to cut waste in the health and care systems. Younger people would like more mental health support in place.

And whatever our age, few of us have thought about how we’ll pay for our care as we get older – including people about to retire.


Controlling Covid is the nation’s second highest priority

Measures to keep Covid under control matter to all of us

Keeping Covid under control is the second highest priority in people’s minds right now, particularly for those in Wales. Across the country, older generations feel strongly that practical measures are put in place.

Last year, before Covid hit, we asked people what the biggest challenges facing the country were.

Looking at the numbers then and now, there’s been a big rise in people worrying about families in poverty. This concern is particularly high for people in Scotland.

But we disagree on how to address immigration and racial inequality

Issues like how to control immigration remain divisive

While we’re all on the same page about people struggling to afford the basics, controlling immigration into the UK remains a divisive issue in most people’s minds.

But actually we feel most of the big issues facing the country – including racism, crime and trade – are rather divisive subjects, too.

So, while this poll shows there are some things that we all agree on, there’s still plenty of food for thought when you scratch the surface.

So what happens now?

In the new year, we’ll be starting a national conversation about health and care

Next, we’re going to take everything you’ve told us and start shaping Engage Britain’s very first national conversation. And that’ll be looking at health and care, our nation’s biggest challenge, as ranked by Brits across the country.

We want to hear your views on how health and care can be improved. So, if you’d like to be kept in the loop – and hear how you can take part – sign up for our newsletter further down.

Want to know more about this poll?

Feel free to dig deeper into the data here.

If you’d like to discuss working together to address health and care challenges, drop a note to Binita Mehta-Parmar, our Head of Partnerships.

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