Are the British public risking their health to prop up the NHS?

The NHS is a divisive topic, with talk of a flagging national health service a recurring topic at the heart of national discussion. The organisation has a protective and supportive public behind it, who use the service at every development of their lives. A recent survey by UK clinical negligence solicitors Your Legal Friend highlights how the public is dealing with the stress on the cherished service.

2,000 people were asked about how they use the NHS, specifically to find their habits when it comes to pursuing anticipated follow up appointments. 80% acknowledged that they would wait up to a month before chasing up a follow up appointment. 9% would wait until they received their follow up appointment instead of pursuing one. 86% were mindful of the strain that the NHS is under, such as monetary cuts or less investment. This worrying feedback suggests that the public is taking on the burden of the overtaxed NHS, surrendering their own health in an attempt to haul the respected national service back from the edge.

The NHS has a shocking £1.4 billion compensation budget this year, showing evidently that the government expects the price of service reduction; with the chances of patients being put in danger of mishandled test results, overlooked follow up appointments and other cases of mistreatment, resulting from a reduction in staffing or poor organisation. Despite the dedication to the NHS from the public, lawyers are readying themselves for more cases of medical negligence; as gradually privatised services have none of the fidelity that the NHS receives from the general public.

The review also concluded that almost half of 16-24 year olds would not see a different healthcare professional if their preferred individual wasn’t available; while that segment was closer to a third for the over 55s. The younger people surveyed were also more expected to be impatient with NHS staff if organisational problems caused poor healthcare, with 46% of 16-24 year olds voicing this opinion. Just over a third of the over 55s who were surveyed, expressed the same opinion. Overall, just under half of those surveyed stated that they would be irritated with staff if NHS stresses caused an inferior standard of care. 28% of were confident that they wouldn’t complain about inadequate care from the NHS.

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