Northern NHS trusts cleanest in country, new public opinion survey reveals
A new survey conducted by HospitalNegligence.co.uk has revealed that people in the north are more satisfied with the public health service than those in the south and Midlands.
More than 1,000 respondents were asked to rank the NHS on various aspects, including cleanliness, bed capacity and waiting times. In terms of cleanliness, NHS services in the north came out top, with 18% of people describing the cleanliness of hospitals as ‘excellent’. This was considerably higher than the south (12%) and the Midlands (10%). In both the north and south, 85% of people responded positively to the cleanliness of hospitals (selecting ‘adequate’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’), compared to 83% in the Midlands.
The north had the lowest proportion of people responding negatively regarding staffing levels, with 33% describing them as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. This was compared to 34% in the Midlands and 36% in the south.
Nicholas Young, specialist medical negligence solicitor at HospitalNegligence.co.uk, says: “Although it is well known that there are issues with the NHS nationally, it is refreshing to see that people in the north have a more positive view of public health services. A common misconception is that healthcare in the south is much better; due to some southern trusts receiving more funding than their northern counterparts. What our survey reveals is that when it comes to issues like cleanliness many people feel NHS staff are doing an excellent job.
“Of course, it isn’t all positive, and issues such as staffing and bed availability need to be urgently addressed nationwide in order to operate a safe health service. In my experience issues such as delays and lack of appropriate treatment can lead to avoidable patient harm and devastating injuries.”
Data published by NHS England revealed that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the north had the best distance from target (DfT), in terms of funding, than the other two geographical areas. DfT is the shortfall between the amount of funding a Trust receives and what is needed for them to reduce the effects of health inequalities, CCGs in the north had a DfT of 1.76% compared to -1.9% in the Midlands & East and -1.52% in the south.
According to HospitalNegligence.co.uk’s survey, people in the north were least open to paying higher taxes if it meant a safer and/or improved NHS. Less than half (47%) of people in the north said they would pay higher taxes, compared to 50% in the south and 53% in the Midlands.