myTribe poll reveals only 7% of UK adults think the NHS is fine as it is

84% felt that the NHS needs to change, with waiting lists and GP access topping the list of worries.
Written by
Chris Steele
Published on
July 4, 2023
Updated on
January 26, 2024

On the 20th of June 2023, the private healthcare experts myTribe Insurance surveyed 2,344 UK adults in conjunction with YouGov to get their current thoughts about the NHS in the UK.

The survey found that only 7% of Brits think the NHS is "Fine as it is", with 84% saying change is needed and 4 in 5 admitting they are worried about the state of healthcare in the UK.

Graph showing the percentage of people across the UK that think the NHS needs to change broken down by country
Across all age groups, political leanings and genders, 80% or more people felt the NHS needs to change

The poll findings, released shortly before the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan, confirm that the British public wants change and improvements made to healthcare provision. 

Regardless of age, gender, region or political leaning, there was a consensus with at least 80% of people saying something needs to change. 

In the same poll, people were asked what their biggest worries were with the NHS, with waiting times for treatment topping the list, with close to 3 in 5 citing it as a concern. Second on the list of worries was access and waiting times to see an NHS GP, with half saying it bothered them.   

Graph showing results of poll in which people in the UK were asked how worried they are about healthcare provision in the UK
82% of adults in the UK are quite worried, or very worried about healthcare provision


However, despite the larger concerns and a desire for change, the poll found that only 1 in 20 people are worried about the expertise of staff working in the NHS. 

Top worries people have about healthcare in the UK:

List of most common worries about healthcare in the UK
Top worries about healthcare in the UK Percentage of adults worried
1 Waiting times for treatments via the NHS 57%
2 NHS GP waiting times / availability 51%
3 Staff shortages and staff pay in the NHS 45%
4 The privatisation of the NHS 30%
5 Access to mental health services on the NHS 21%
6 Availability of care for acute long-term conditions (e.g. Cancer) 18%
7 The provision of emergency medical care 16%
8 The rise of the private healthcare sector in the UK 10%
9 Ease of access to specialists, such as physios and dermatologists 9%
10 Availability of the most modern treatments on the NHS 7%
11 The cost of accessing private medical care 5%
12 Availability of medications on the NHS 5%
13 The expertise of staff working in the NHS 5%


Chris Steele, Editor of myTribe, said:

This survey shows that the British public, regardless of political tendency, wants change to the NHS. It's fantastic to see the Long Term Workforce Plan being released in this past week. However, many will be wondering what is happening in the short term to improve access to healthcare. At myTribe, we're seeing a growing number of people come to us with questions about health insurance, and we know from our partners that more policies are being sold to people without cover than ever before. 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,344 adults. Fieldworkwas undertaken between 20th - 21st June 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted andare representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).