As NHS ‘UK’ satisfaction rates plummet, breakdown of Scottish data becomes harder to access, why?


In a typically Anglocentric Guardian piece we read today:

‘Public satisfaction with the NHS is at its lowest level for a decade despite Theresa May’s £20.5bn-a-year funding boost and the enthusiasm created by the service’s 70th birthday. Barely half of people surveyed (53%) are happy with how the NHS is run, the lowest percentage since 2007. It is 16 percentage points lower than in 2010, when the coalition government’s austerity programme began. Satisfaction with GP services has fallen to its lowest level. Fewer than two-thirds (63%) of people in Britain are happy with them, while 24% say they are dissatisfied.’

Partly explaining the Guardian’s failure to consider the other three NHS areas, the original Nuffield report features no breakdown of the data

I’ve written to request NHS Scotland data. This is the just the latest in a trail of attempts to find Scottish data from surveys. These have either been rejected or ignored. My last success in getting Scottish data was in 2015 when I was able to report on the Commonwealth Foundation (USA) research into GP satisfaction and stress levels. See:

Already the best staffed and least stressed in the UK, Scottish GPs to get better contracts

In the absence of Scottish data, which I will report if I get it, here are some alternative sources, revealing, as you might expect, that SNP-led NHS Scotland is still held in high regard by its customers:

91% satisfaction with NHS Scotland staff! Patients even more satisfied than before

At 78% level of satisfaction with NHS Scotland is impressive 36% higher than for the NHS across UK

The Nuffield Trust has previously been more open in its recognition of the distinctive Scottish system. See:

Scottish Government funds new initiative to reduce planned waiting times in the wake of BMA praise for its new GP contract and illustrating what the Nuffield Trust called ‘a unique system of improving the quality of health care.’

‘Scotland has a unique system of improving the quality of health care’ says the Nuffield Trust: Looking at the full report and not the Labour/BBC Scotland extracts in July



10 thoughts on “As NHS ‘UK’ satisfaction rates plummet, breakdown of Scottish data becomes harder to access, why?

  1. Ann Forbes March 8, 2019 / 7:47 am

    BBC website today says – ‘The British Social Attitudes poll of nearly 3,000 people found 53% of in England, Scotland and Wales were satisfied with services last year.’ Err, this is the *amalgamated* figure. Again, there is no breakdown of the figures.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Legerwood March 8, 2019 / 4:38 pm

        I had a quick look at the report. It contains two mentions of NHS Scotland – one in the introduction and one in the methodods section at the end. No indication whatsoever as to how many of the near 3,000 respondents came from Scotland.

        A quick read of the report did throw up one interesting point – the difference in satisfaction ratings between those who had actually used the NHS (England, Scotland etc) and those who had not or had little if any contact. Generally the former group rated it more highly. The latter less so. Possibly that group were basing their opinion on what they read in the press.

        Overall I thought it was a poorly executed and poorly reported piece of research.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bigjon999 March 8, 2019 / 8:13 am

    Not too surprised by this – I am sure the attitude to the Scottish NHS is much more positive than in England and so decisions have been taken to try to ignore or even suppress this so Scottish voters get no information that might encourage their support of independence.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ludo Thierry March 8, 2019 / 8:35 am

    By Gum John – you have been busy these last few days – Your analysis is spot on – and thanks for all the Scottish Health info from recent days – extremely useful.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ludo Thierry March 8, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    Meanwhile the SNP Scottish Govt continues to implement further ‘joined up’ policies to improve real peoples’ real lives – see link and snippet from The Falkirk Herald (not, hitherto, widely viewed as a bastion of pro-Indy news management!) – I don’t imagine we’ll see this widely bruited on beeb Scotland:

    Citizens Advice bureaux across Scotland have helped put more than £1 million back into clients’ pockets in the last four months. And it’s all thanks to a new service, Financial Health Check, which launched in November with funding from the Scottish Government.

    From November 2 to January 31, the service supported 1740 clients. Some 432 clients called the free helpline and 1308 accessed face to face services in local bureaux. In just four short months, more than £1 million has been claimed by 366 clients; each being better off, on average, by £2700.But with around half a million Scots not claiming all they are entitled to, Citizens Advice and the Scottish Government are now keen for more people to take advantage of the Financial Health Check service.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry March 8, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    Some v. encouraging Scottish exports data (from HMRC no less) which even beeb Scotland were unable to ignore. Link and snippets below:

    The value of goods exported by firms in Scotland rose by 5.6% last year to £30.3bn, according to new HMRC figures.

    The percentage increase was higher than any other part of the UK.

    Exports from England rose by 2.1%, while Wales and Northern Ireland saw rises of 4.2% and 1.9% respectively.

    The top five Scottish exports were mineral fuels (£10.2bn), machinery and transport (£7.2bn), beverages and tobacco (£4.3bn), chemicals (£2.5bn) and manufactured goods (£2bn).

    In the same period, 1,190 businesses from Scotland exported goods to the US.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ludo Thierry March 8, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    Beeb Scotland website showing a bit willing today – they are also managing to bring themselves to cover these encouraging RBS survey stats regarding Scottish labour recruitment and pay (recruitment = 25th sequential month of growth in permanent staff appointments):

    The Scottish labour market has lost some momentum this year but remains strong, according to a survey of recruitment agencies.

    The Royal Bank of Scotland found permanent staff appointments and temporary postings were up in February, but there was a slowdown in growth.

    The latest survey results extended the run of growth in permanent appointments to 25 months.

    This was in contrast with the UK as a whole, where placements “stagnated”.

    Demand for both temporary and permanent workers also rose strongly.

    Permanent staff availability declined, although at a softer pace than in recent months, while temporary staff shortages were also apparent across the UK.

    Scottish recruitment agencies, meanwhile, pointed to further growth in pay last month.

    Salaries awarded to permanent staff starting work rose sharply, despite the rate of inflation easing to the slowest since March 2017.

    Short-term pay rates in Scotland also increased, according to the monthly survey of about 100 recruitment and employment consultants.

    Nick Stamenkovic, senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “All in all, the Scottish labour market has lost a bit of momentum in early 2019 but remains strong, keeping upward pressure on pay.With inflation moderating, real incomes continue to improve, a key support for consumers.”

    Liked by 1 person

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