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Four in ten back charging for the NHS

14 May 2017 | Tags: health, health and wellbeing, NHS, NatCen Panel


New findings from the NatCen Panel suggest that as many as four in ten people (39%) would be in favour of the NHS charging for some services, such as appointments with a GP. However, a majority of six in ten (61%) believe all NHS services should be free at the point of use.

In its survey of 2,290 people the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) also asked people what they would be prepared to accept if the NHS needed more money.

Most popular was an increase in so-called “sin taxes” on alcohol, tobacco and sugary foods that more than half (58%) said they would support.

-        Only a fifth (18%) said that they would support restrictions on spending on more expensive treatments.

-        While a third (36%) backed an increased in income tax.

The research also found three in ten (29%) backed a monthly membership charge, or a charge per visit to a GP or A&E Department (with some exemptions) (28%). 

Kirby Swales, Director of the NatCen Survey Centre said: “A significant proportion of the public is now comfortable with the idea that the NHS may need to charge for certain services and most are prepared to accept the NHS raising more money in one way or another should it need to. The big question remains exactly where this money should come from and as yet there doesn’t appear to be a consensus among the public.”


For more information contact Leigh Marshall: 07828 031850

Notes to editors.

1. NatCen Social Research interviewed 2,290 people between 16th March and 16th April 2017, either via the internet or over the phone. All respondents were originally interviewed as part of the random probability face-to-face 2015 or 2016 British Social Attitudes (BSA) surveys. The data have been weighted to take account of differences between the composition of the sample and that of the original BSA sample, as well as to ensure that it matches the known demographic characteristics of the population.

3. NatCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.

4. Tables:

Tables Nhs (1)