The Health and Social Care Bill

March 06, 2012, 11:41 AM GMT+0

50% say Government should abandon Health and Social Care Bill, 48% oppose NHS reform

In light of the controversy surrounding the government’s proposed reforms to the NHS, the majority of the British public believe the government should abandon the proposed NHS reforms, with almost half opposing the new bill, our poll shows.

  • Taking everything into account, 50% think the government should abandon the proposed NHS reforms, while only around 1 in 5 (19%) think that the government should continue with their proposed reforms
  • 48% oppose the proposed NHS reforms, 38% 'don’t know', while 14% supports them
  • 46% say increasing competition within the NHS will make services worse, 18% think this will make health services better, 17% say it will make no difference
  • 36% giving doctors more control over their own budgets will make services worse, 26% think this will make services better, 17% think it will make no difference

If passed, the newly proposed Health and Social Care Bill will give GPs control of much of the NHS budget. The government has said that the Bill aims to open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector, working to modernise the NHS, improve services and reinvest savings in front line care.

Reform Facing Criticism

The Bill has faced an onslaught of criticism by health service professionals who say the changes would be detrimental to the NHS, as they would divert money from patient care.

Former NHS chief, Lord Crisp, has told the BBC that he thinks the Bill is “a mess” that is “unfortunately setting the NHS back”.

"I think the great mistake that the current government has made - and I can say this as an independent and not a politician - is that this is a terrible confused and confusing bill” said Lord Crisp. “It has tried to elevate the ideas of competition and the use of the private sector, which are just mechanisms, as if they were the purpose.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has backed the reform, saying that making big changes "always involves argument" but he is confident the Government can show the changes will improve the NHS, as “the principle behind the reforms does actually have quite good support."

Mr Cameron went on to explain: "For years, people have said there is too much bureaucratic decision-making in the NHS, we want clinical decision making. That's what the reforms deliver."

See the full results and details here (pg 8-9)