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Government to blame for hospitals' situations, winter pressure poll respondents believe

Almost one in ten people have been affected by severe winter pressures in the NHS, new polling shows

A survey of 1,600 adults in England found 9% said they personally had been affected by cancelled operations, cancelled appointments or long waiting times.


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Almost one in ten people have been affected by severe winter pressures in the NHS, new polling shows.

Campaigning website 38 Degrees, which commissioned the poll, said that when the figure is extrapolated across the country, nearly four million adults have already been affected by winter pressures in the NHS.

The survey also found strong support for an emergency cash boost for the NHS in England.

Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents were in favour of an emergency injection of cash to help support struggling hospitals while only 4% opposed the notion.

Government pledge

In the autumn budget, the government pledged an additional £335 million to help the health service in England to increase capacity over winter.

Meanwhile, almost two thirds of respondents (65%) said the government is managing the current pressures on the NHS badly, 38 Degrees said.

A total of 44% said the government was to blame for the situation in the nation's hospitals.

Last week, health officials estimated that as many as 55,000 routine operations could be deferred during January as the NHS in England focuses on patients with the most pressing needs.

NHS England urged hospitals to defer pre-planned operations and routine outpatient appointments until the end of the month.

'The warning was there'

Trish Murray, campaign manager at 38 Degrees, said: 'Most people support an emergency cash injection for the NHS this winter and that's no surprise.

'Cancelled operations and A&Es in crisis are leaving people waiting in pain or scared for their families.

'Theresa May was warned by health experts that this would happen without proper funding.

'Without it, doctors, nurses and hospital leaders just don't have the resources to help everyone who needs it.

'Theresa May needs to get a grip on this crisis and give the NHS the emergency funds it needs.'

'Nothing is perfect'

Prime minister Theresa May told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show on 7 January that while she recognised people's concerns, the NHS was 'delivering for more people'.

'It is treating more people, and more are being seen within the four hours every day – when compared to a few years ago.

'But nothing is perfect and there is more for us to do.'

Further information

Nursing Standard straw poll reveals 90% of respondents believe winter pressures are worse than 2016-17

RCN raises workforce concerns in Northern Ireland after volunteers supported patients on New Year's Eve


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