Consumer, Media & Technology

Public Experiences of A&E – Poll for Sky News

In a poll for Sky News on public views on the NHS, respondents were broadly favourable towards the service provided by A&E services. 54% of those polled who had used A&E services in the past there years rated the standard of care received as “good” or “excellent”, compared with only 15% who rated it as “poor” or “very poor”. 47% reported having been seen by a doctor within an hour of arriving in A&E, although 7% reported having to wait more than 4 hours to be seen.

Despite these favourable personal experiences, two thirds of respondents agreed with the general statement that “NHS emergency services are in crisis and patients are being put at risk by poor levels of care”. In terms of what people held responsible for this perceived crisis, three quarters said that staff were “being worked too hard”, whilst 65% expressed the view that “government cuts” were to blame. One in five people interviewed said that they would not want themselves or a family member to be treated by their local A&E department.

There was strong support for making senior doctors work out of hours to reduce staffing shortages (65% in favour), but people were divided over whether to achieve this through positive incentive payments (35%) or penalties for failure to do so (43%). 23% of respondents said they would be prepared to pay a charge to visit A&E if it led to better care, whilst 32% said they would be prepared to pay higher taxes for better A&E care. Unsurprisingly, Labour voters were more likely to opt for higher taxes, whilst Conservative voters were more likely to be prepared to pay direct charges for NHS use instead.

Full data tables can be viewed here:

Fieldwork Dates 2nd-3rd September 2013 , 1106 Adults.

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