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NHS at 70: Express & Star readers proud of health service

By Pete Madeley | Health | Published:

But readers say the NHS is badly run and called for action

The Express & Star asked readers for their thoughts on the NHS as it reached its 70th anniversary

The vast majority of people in the Black Country and Staffordshire are proud of the NHS – but almost half of them believe it is badly run.

That’s according to the results of the Express & Star’s survey on Britain’s much-revered health service, which remains a source of great pride for the nation decades after its inception.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the birth of the NHS, the E&S asked readers a series of questions in a bid to gauge the region’s views on the state of a system that has long been the envy of the world.

And more than 1,000 people took part in the survey, including both online and written submissions.

A total of 80 per cent of respondents said they had used the NHS over the last six months, with a whopping 86 per cent of people saying they are proud of the NHS.

The full results

Take a look at the survey results

But 48 per cent of people – more than 500 of those who responded – said they believed the NHS was badly run. A total of 37 per cent said it was adequately run and 15 per cent said it was well run.

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Despite this, 86 per cent of those taking part in the survey said their overall experience of the NHS was ‘good’.

The NHS has often been used as a ‘political football’ since it was founded by the Labour government in 1948 under the guidance of Health Minister Aneurin Bevan.

And E&S readers are split over which of the main parties are best suited to run the NHS if in power.

Labour were favoured by 51 per cent of respondents to take charge of the health service to the Tories’ 49 per cent.

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And nearly two thirds of respondents said they were pessimistic about the future of the NHS, despite Theresa May pledging an extra £20 billion a year by 2023 as a 70th ‘birthday present’.

The Prime Minister has said the bulk of the extra cash will come from a ‘Brexit dividend’, but she also hinted that a tax rise will be necessary.

Such a move would not be a problem for 62 per cent of respondents to our survey, who said they would be willing to pay more tax to fund the NHS.

There was a clear answer to the suggestion of replacing the NHS with a US-style private insurance system.

Perhaps wary of the sky high cost of medical treatment across the pond – and the failings of ‘Obamacare’, 82 per cent of readers said: “Leave our NHS alone.”

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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