Whitehouse Consultancy GPs Poll

ComRes interviewed 2,039 British adults online between 21st and 23rd March 2014. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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Date Published
30 Mar 2014

Further Description

More than half of Britons wouldn’t pay for GP appointments to keep local practices from closing

More than half of Britons would refuse to pay for a GP appointment, even if payment protected their local GP surgery from closure, according to a new ComRes poll commissioned by political communications specialist The Whitehouse Consultancy.

Despite charges existing for dentist appointments and prescriptions, the poll for The Whitehouse Consultancy found that 56 per cent of 2039 British adults oppose the idea of a £10 charge for a GP appointment, even if such a charge kept their local practice open. Approximately a quarter of the British public (27 per cent) support the idea of a £10 charge, a figure that falls to just 15 per cent (72 per cent opposed) if the cost of an appointment was £20. The poll also found that just eight per cent of Britons would accept a charge for a GP appointment if it helped reduce the budget deficit.

The findings follow comments made by the Royal College of GPs’ (RCGP) Chair Dr Maureen Baker that GP services were “under severe threat of extinction” due to the scale of patient demands. The RCGP has claimed that the proportion of the NHS budget spent on GP services has fallen from approximately 11 per cent in 2005 to approximately 8.39 per cent. The RCGP has also predicted that patients will fail to get a GP appointment while unwell on 34 million occasions this year.

The survey for The Whitehouse Consultancy also found that only one in ten Britons (10 per cent) would support a £20 charge for a GP appointment if a charge meant them paying less tax, and only 12 per cent of respondents would pay to guarantee an appointment the next day. Nearly half of Britons (44 per cent) oppose a £20 charge for a GP appointment being levied on individuals earning more than £150,000 per annum, although a similar proportion support this (47 per cent).

Poll results

ComRes interviewed 2,039 GB adults online between 21 and 23 March 2014. Data was weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. 

Option

Support

Oppose

Don’t know

Being charged £20 to help the Government tackle the budget deficit

8%

84%

8%

Being charged £10 if the alternative was your local GP surgery closing

27%

56%

16%

Being charged £20 if the alternative was your local GP surgery closing

15%

72%

13%

Having the option to pay £20 for a guaranteed appointment with a GP the next day without waiting, even if it meant others who had not paid for an appointment had to wait longer

12%

79%

9%

Being charged £20 for an appointment that provided higher quality of care than is currently provided

16%

74%

10%

Being charged £20 for an appointment if the patient is in the upper income tax bracket (earning between £32,011 and £150,000 per year)

30%

58%

11%

Being charged £20 for an appointment if the patient is in the highest income tax bracket (earning more than £150,000 per year)

47%

44%

9%

Being charged £20 every time you had an appointment if it meant you paid slightly less tax

10%

77%

13%

Base: All GB adults (n=2,039)

 

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