A new poll conducted by the authoritative Ipsos MORI organisation suggests that public concerns regarding the healthcare system have reached the highest level in almost 15 years.
Nearly half of those questioned by Ipsos Mori believed that the challenges facing the NHS system can be considered one of the most important issues in Britain.
Although Brexit was considered the most important issue in the UK, the almost intrinsic relationship between Brexit and the NHS means that the situation is doubly critical.
A spokesperson for NHS England reflected that the level of concern regarding the healthcare system had never experienced the level of demand that has been the case recently.
“Unprecedented numbers of patients are accessing NHS services in England. Staff are dealing with the highest ever number of ambulance calls, A&E attendances and emergency admissions in its history. Despite this, the NHS is delivering a good service for the vast majority of patients.”
The spokesperson also suggested that the situation in Accident and Emergency is particularly worrying.
“Last winter (2015/16) our A&Es had never been more stretched and never been under more scrutiny from patients, the public and politicians. Don’t expect this year to be different. Winter brings with it a doubling in the number of respiratory illness. It contributes to more emergency admissions and puts pressure on the NHS.”
Andrew Haldenby, Director of the Reform think-tank, had previously stated in an interview with the British Journal of Healthcare Computing that making accurate predictions about the consequences of Brexit was difficult at present, but was cautious in his prognosis.
“I think it is far too early to tell. I think it’s far, far, far too early to tell. We don’t even know the economic impact of Brexit. We’ve already seen that Brexit will damage the economy and it hasn’t had any impact at all as far as anybody knows. If I stuck my neck out, I would say it will have less impact than many people would think, but it is certainly too early to tell”.
Prime Minister Theresa May had argued back in June that the referendum, was not a symbol of Britain choosing to ‘step back from the world’.
“I want Britain to be what we have the potential, talent and ambition to be. A great, global trading nation that is respected around the world and strong, confident and united at home,” May commented.
But is seems that a combination of NHS malaise and confusion about the future of Britain following the Brexit vote are causing serious healthcare difficulties.