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The British Public and the NHS

  • May 30, 2018

What do the British public think of the NHS

On Thursday 5th July 2018 the NHS turns 70. The birthday of the UK’s health system is an opportunity to appreciate the nation’s most loved institution and to thank the extraordinary NHS staff – without their skill, dedication, and compassion, the system would not exist.

BDI Resourcing is proud to support the NHS and in celebration of its 70th birthday this article is going to explore the UK public’s views of their healthcare system and list the reasons why NHS employees love working for fifth largest employer in the entire world.

British Social Attitudes Survey

The British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey has been carried out annually since 1983 and is the longest-running survey in the UK. The BSA covers a range of topics which includes the role of government, moral issues, Brexit, immigration and the NHS.

In celebration of NHS 70, this year the BSA conducted a survey on public attitudes to the health and care system. The survey asked:

How satisfied is the British public with the NHS overall?

Polling shows that the NHS remains a treasured national institution that is a fundamental part of the British national identity. The public is unwavering in its support for the underlying principles of the NHS and research reveals that the public consistently prioritises the health service for extra government funding above other public services such as education, welfare and defence.

Although the public’s support for the NHS’ principles does not change, their satisfaction with the service is not as constant resultant of waiting times, funding and surrounding political issues.

The BSA then asked, ‘how satisfied are you with the way the NHS runs nowadays?’. This year, satisfaction with the service was at 57%, 6 percent lower than last year.

Thinking about the NHS over the next few years do you expect it to...?

The study revealed that most of the UK public think the quality of the NHS will stay the same or get slightly worse – these thoughts are fundamentally related to resourcing issues.

These issues include long waiting times, lack of funding and lack of staff. Thus, the negative views of the system are simply due to incorrect governmental decisions rather than the core principles of the health service.

What can BDI Resourcing do to help?

Overall, the study reveals that the UK public will always be an advocate for the NHS and it is strongly imprinted in their heritage. And due to this love for the institution, most of the UK public worry about whether the system will be sustainable based on its lack of staff and waiting times – creating a large call for change.

Here at BDI Resourcing, we also worry about the NHS’ growing staff shortage. Recent statistics, obtained by the BBC reveal that tens of thousands of NHS doctors and nursing posts are vacant. Resultantly, at BDI Resourcing our primary aim is to help the NHS become more sustainable and help meet the needs of an ageing population. Currently, we work with over 35 NHS Trusts across the entire UK to provide them with permanent international doctors. By adding to the NHS workforce, we have reduced both patient waiting times and the system’s spending on costly long-term locum agency staff – overall increasing patient satisfaction and employee welfare.

A career in the NHS – there is nothing quite like it.

Conscious of the UK’s public worry and care towards the NHS and in celebration of NHS 70 we wanted to provide you with a list of the reasons why NHS staff love working for the UK’s health system. Let us know if you agree in the comments or share your reasons why you want to work for the NHS.

  1. Training

The NHS prides itself on supporting its staff to learn new skills and develop their skills as there is a strong focus on training and helping staff to progress. Most international doctors want to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS simply due to the lack of opportunities in their home country. So, whether you are part-time or a full-time NHS employee, the NHS offers a chance to gain extra skills and training with regular reviews and development via the Knowledge and Skills framework.

  1. Rewarding work

Another core reason doctors enjoy working for the NHS is the level of satisfaction they receive from caring for people.

  1. Pension Scheme

The NHS offers one of the best pension schemes in the UK, which will help you to secure a better future. NHS employees are entitled to a pension as well as a tax-free lump sum when they retire, which allows you to thoroughly enjoy your retirement years after many years of fantastic service.

  1. Work-life balance

The NHS recognises its demanding nature and therefore offers flexibility to their staff to allow them to keep their personal commitments. Childcare and school support are also offered. With options such as shift work, part-time roles, and job shares, the ability to maintain a work-life balance is one of the core attractions of the NHS.

So, if you are interested in using our services to help provide you with permanent doctors over costly agency locums then get in touch with us at [email protected] – and we will be happy to help!

Alternatively, if you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be able to provide you with tailored advice. And head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.


NHS at 70. (2018) [ebook] Ipsos Mori. Available at:

BBC News. (2018). Thousands of NHS posts lie vacant. [online] Available at:


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