According to new research launched by Benenden Healthcare Society last week at a reception at the House of Commons, London, UK, there is a lack of confidence from the UK public in the ability of the NHS to provide good quality healthcare in the future.
Although the vast majority of British people believe the NHS was originally created to help people like them, the study of 2,034 British adults – commissioned by the non-profit, mutual healthcare organisation, Benenden Healthcare Society – reveals that confidence levels in the ability of the NHS to continue to do so drop significantly when looking to the future.
Ken Hesketh, Chief Executive of Benenden Healthcare Society, said: “While people still feel confident in the service provision the NHS offers today, the research findings show that the public have genuine concerns over the future of the NHS and its ability to provide for them in the years ahead”.
The findings of the survey demonstrate public concerns about the amount of health spending that is invested in private profit-making healthcare providers – highlighting the public’s preference to see more money being invested in the NHS. Those polled would also rather see more of a balance between the provision of health services by the private profit-making sector and the not-for-profit sector (i.e. healthcare organisations based on a mutual funding model which use contributions from members to fund healthcare services).
Ken Hesketh continues: “Realistically, the country’s public finances are unable to sustain a level of health spend that the public have come to expect in the past decade and the role of ‘top-up’ payments and co-payment plans will be crucial for the continuation of good quality healthcare. This means that there is a real place for mutual organisations such as Benenden Healthcare Society to complement the healthcare provision of the NHS in the future.
“Benenden Healthcare already has always seen itself as complementary and a partner to the NHS, but our recent move to open membership means that now, anyone can join and benefit from our mutual ethos and enjoy greater choice in tailoring the way they access healthcare in the UK.”
Benenden Healthcare members recently voted at the Society’s annual conference to allow open eligibility to the Society for all in the UK. Please see ICMIF news story on the Benenden vote. The vote followed a year long consultation of members. Benenden Healthcare has today published a video summarising the topics discussed and outcomes of the annual conference.