Poll: Most think govt not listening on NHS


9:30 am - May 20th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A poll by YouGov for campaign group 38 degrees yesterday found that most people don’t believe Andrew Lansley is listening to concerns over the NHS.

Yougov asked:

The government are currently planning to reform the NHS. Currently health services are commissioned by local Heath Trusts. Under the government’s plans local Heath Trusts would be abolished, and health services would instead be commissioned by consortiums made up of groups of local GPs.

Following opposition from doctors, health professionals, some MPs and the public, in April the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, announced a ‘listening exercise’ to gather people’s views on his plans. Do you think Health Secretary Andrew Lansley does or does not genuinely want to listen to the public’s views?

Response
Genuinely does want to listen to the public’s views – 21%
Does not genuinely want to listen to the public’s views – 55%
Don’t know – 24%

Meanwhile, a poll for Ipsos-Mori found the NHS is now the biggest issue of concern to voters after the Economy and Unemployment.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Anyone asked why the government is pushing NHS reform now, rather than in two year’s time? They think, and I’m inclined to believe, that if the reforms go through and things get better or stay the same, there will be no problems politically at the next election (those who are opposed to them vehmently might still attack the reformed NHS, but public opinion will be somewhere else).

This is only likely to be a politically-difficult issue if the Liberal Democrats make some sort of stand (unlikely despite their posturing – they have to concede some ground to the Conservatives occasionally, and this is a popular policy in that party), or if the results are disastrous. Otherwise, it will be a case of Labour having to state where it stands on the new NHS structures, which could present its own traps for them to fall into.

Try this by Nicholas Timmins, the public policy editor, in Thursday’s FT:

Coalition teeters close to farce
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/331385ee-816e-11e0-9c83-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1MsxTTSBC

From that and other FT news reports, I’m getting the distinct impression that the FT regards Clegg as a waste of space. Mind you, Clegg has nailed himself to Osborne’s plans for cutting public spending – because “there is no alternative” – and that is not the line of the well-regarded FT economists. But what would they know?

What an extraordinarily leading question. It’s almost explicit in its implication that Lansley doesn’t genuinely want to listen to the public’s views, right before it asks whether Lansley genuinely wants to listen to the public’s views.

I quite agree with the point of course, and I’m sure there are many more people in the UK who feel they are not being listened to on the NHS than feel they are. But data like this are far too easily dismissed. The debate would be far better served by a more rigorous survey that’s designed to uncover the facts rather than simply to produce a strong response. A more honest question might not have generated such impressive numbers, but they would have been numbers that the other side could not ignore.

How is that a leading question? Government want to reform NHS, opposition to plans, Government start listening period. Will he listen or not?

How would you have written it?

5. Roger Mexico

Whether or not Andrew Lansley does or does not genuinely want to listen to the public’s views, the same survey tells us that only 1% definitely know how to take part in Andrew Lansley’s listening exercise (a further 4% ‘think’ they know). So even if he is listening, he won’t hear much.

Meanwhile a more recent YouGov poll shows that only 21% of voters think The NHS needs reform, and the current government’s policies are taking broadly the right direction, the same proportion who think there should be no major change at all. Even only 53% of Conservatives agree and only 18% of Lib Dems.

6. Chaise Guevara

How many people think that this or any government listens to the people on any given issue? I ask because there’s a tendency for people to opine that all politicians are self-serving liars, under the mistaken belief that it makes them look clever.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Poll: Most people think govt not listening on NHS http://bit.ly/iqXMdv

  2. os xiosrk

    RT @libcon: Poll: Most people think govt not listening on NHS http://bit.ly/iqXMdv

  3. Rosemary

    RT @libcon: Poll: Most people think govt not listening on NHS http://bit.ly/iqXMdv

  4. sunny hundal

    Poll finds most people think Lansley is *not* listening to concerns on NHS plans http://bit.ly/iqXMdv now also the 3rd biggest issue

  5. Mabel Horrocks

    Poll finds most people think Lansley is *not* listening to concerns on NHS plans http://bit.ly/iqXMdv now also the 3rd biggest issue

  6. Brian Moylan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Poll finds most think Lansley *not* listening to concerns on NHS plans http://bit.ly/iqXMdv now also the 3rd biggest issue

  7. t hill

    RT @sunny_hundal: Poll finds most think Lansley *not* listening to concerns on NHS plans http://bit.ly/iqXMdv now also the 3rd biggest issue

  8. Aaron Chandra

    Poll finds most people think Lansley is *not* listening to concerns on NHS plans http://bit.ly/iqXMdv now also the 3rd biggest issue

  9. Plymouth City UNISON

    RT @libcon: Poll: Most people think govt not listening on NHS http://bit.ly/iqXMdv

  10. Jos Bell

    RT @libcon: Poll: Most people think govt not listening on NHS http://bit.ly/iqXMdv

  11. Lansley and Clegg still aren't listening on the NHS - make them | Left Foot Forward

    […] to plough ahead in the face of such widespread criticism, it’s not surprising that only one in five think Lansley is genuinely interested in listening. Many more suspect that the “listening […]





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