The latest survey highlighting the public’s declining satisfaction with the NHS is ‘a sorry indictment of the government’s continuing inept stewardship of the health service’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 7 March).

The British Social Attitudes poll of nearly 3,000 people found 53 per cent of those in England, Scotland and Wales were satisfied with services last year – the lowest level since 2007. Public satisfaction peaked at 70 per cent in 2010.

Unite national officer for health Jackie Williams said: “The chickens have come home to roost in the public’s perception of a Tory government that has financially squeezed the NHS for nearly a decade.

“The public are not fooled by prime minister Theresa May’s belated £20.5bn-a-year funding boost announced last summer – it is too little, too late.

“Staff shortages, increased waiting times for routine operations and appointments to see GPs, and lack of money are fuelling this decade low in public satisfaction with the NHS.

“That said, NHS staff are performing heroically against the odds to provide a dedicated and caring health service 24/7, 365 days a year.

“The survey is a sorry indictment of the government’s continuing inept stewardship of the health service – it is no coincidence that the year of peak public satisfaction was in 2010, the last year of the Labour government and just before the Tory austerity regime kicked in. 

“Unite has continually warned of ‘a perfect storm’ facing the NHS. It is clear that what the government needs to do urgently is to give a further big financial boost to the health service.

“It also needs to embark on a massive recruitment campaign to plug the staff shortages across a multitude of health disciplines.”


Notes to editors:

Unite has a 100,000 members working in the health service.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.