The NHS makes people proud to be British but one in five has been forced to go private, suggests a survey of more than 4,000 adults in the UK.
According to the findings of a survey conducted by the charity Engage Britain, some people had to “fight for treatment,” while others faced discrimination.
Too many people are “let down every day by our health and care services,” according to Julian McCrae, the charity’s director.
NHS England stated that hardworking staff were reducing the pandemic backlog.
The researchers discovered that 77% of those polled were proud of the NHS.
The nationally representative online survey, on the other hand, discovered:
- 21% had been forced to go private because NHS treatment was unavailable
- 25% said waiting times had harmed their mental health
- 28% felt they had to fight for treatment
22 percent of people from ethnic minorities said they or a loved one had encountered racism while seeking treatment.
Overall, more than a quarter of those polled felt their problems were not taken seriously, with women aged 18-34 accounting for 45 percent of the total.
Dee Montague of Newport spent her life savings on private endometriosis treatment after feeling “dismissed, disrespected, and desperate” by the NHS.
She claims she felt suicidal after leaving a meeting with a consultant.
“I didn’t want to die, I just wanted it to be better, I wanted it to stop,” she told the BBC. “You just feel like nobody believes you and nobody is listening to you.”
Floss Salter, 20, of Leicestershire, was born with cerebral palsy and requires regular physiotherapy care. She discovered that, despite years of NHS treatment as a child, she had to start the process of finding the care she required all over again when she turned 18.
“It’s just the time it takes to get everything you need, ringing receptionists and being on hold for hours, just to get a simple question answered… or waiting for five or six months just to talk to a physio,” she told the BBC.
The vast majority (85 percent) of people agreed that NHS staff are overworked and are doing the best they can with the resources they have.
“Overworked employees are being pushed to the breaking point,” Mr McCrae said. He advocated for reforms to “address the daily challenges that so many people in Britain face.”
“Only answers based on real-life experiences can provide health and care that works for all of us.”
“NHS staff have worked tirelessly over the pandemic, caring for 450,000 patients with the virus in hospital, which has inevitably had a knock-on effect on less urgent care and created a backlog,” said Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England.Officials highlighted figures showing a big increase in patient treatments carried out this summer, compared to last, with 3.9m diagnostic tests and 2.6m patients beginning consultant-led treatment in June and July, compared with 2.7m tests and 1.6m treatments in June and July 2020.