Live updates

Less than a third of Britons think NHS is well run

Only 28% of the public think the NHS is well managed as an organisation, according to a new ITV News Index poll carried out by ComRes.

A nurse on a ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Only 12% of people think that NHS services in their area have got better in the last three months, while 30% think they have worsened - though this is the lowest proportion saying this for two years.

ComRes surveyed 2008 people between March 28 and 30.


'Traditional partitions of NHS services make no sense'

The new NHS England boss is expected to say that pressure on the health service is "intensifying" and that the way services are delivered to the public "no longer makes much sense".

In a speech, to be delivered to health workers in Newcastle, he is expected to say: "Our traditional partitioning of health services - GPs, hospital outpatients, A&E departments, community nurses, emergency mental health care, out of hours units, ambulance services - no longer makes much sense."

More: New NHS England chief takes over

New NHS England chief takes over

File photo from 2009 of Simon Stevens. Credit: AP Photo

The traditional way some NHS services are delivered "no longer makes much sense", the new NHS boss will say.

Simon Stevens, a former private health firm executive, will start his new job as chief executive of NHS England today.

In a speech, which will be delivered to health workers in Newcastle, Mr Stevens will say that pressure on the health service is "intensifying" and that the traditional "partitioning" of services is no longer fit for purpose.

Labour 'would not consider' NHS monthly charge

Labour said they would not support the introduction of a £10 monthly fee for NHS patients, as proposed by former Labour health minister Lord Warner in a report by a centre-left think tank.

Jamie Reed, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said:

This is not something Labour would ever consider. We believe in an NHS free at the point of use, and a Labour government will repeal David Cameron's NHS changes that put private profit before patient care.

The truth is that after wasting £3 billion on a damaging reorganisation and causing a crisis in A&E, it is David Cameron you can’t trust with the NHS.

– Jamie Reed MP

Lukewarm reaction to NHS membership idea

There is little public support for a think tank's proposal to introduce an NHS membership fee, judging by users' reaction on the ITV News Facebook page.

Many of those commenting on the issue, such as Zoe Jackson, believed their existing contributions should not be increased:

We pay already - it's called National Insurance. If the NHS is in trouble then our government needs to do more using the money they already suck out of us.

– Zoe Jackson

A view expressed by many on the forum was that the NHS should remain free for UK residents, but that others should have to pay.

Margaret Seymour said:

Why not just charge the health tourists who use the NHS instead of people who were born in the UK? It should always remain a free service for people here.

– Margaret Seymour

However, there were pockets of support for the proposal, which was suggested by the centre-left think tank Reform.

Kirsty May backed the plan, saying:

Sorry, I agree. Ten pounds is a minimal amount, and the NHS is struggling. I'd be happy to contribute towards keeping the standards of care that we currently receive.

– Kirsty May


Government dismisses 'NHS membership' proposal

The Government said it disagreed with the idea of using membership fees to help fund the NHS - as proposed by think tank Reform - saying the service would remain "universally free at point of use".

A Department of Health spokesman said:

The founding principles of the NHS make it universally free at point of use and we are clear that it will continue to be so.

This Government doesn't support the introduction of membership fees or anything like them. But we know that with an ageing population there's more pressure on the NHS, which is why we need changes to services that focus far more on health prevention out of hospitals.

– Department of Health

What you would get for £10-a-month NHS membership

The report suggests a merger of health and social care to replace the NHS. Credit: PA

Centre-right think tank Reform has proposed a raft of changes the NHS, including a £10 monthly membership fee for members.

Here are some of the other changes suggested:

  • Annual "health MOT" of basic health checks for more people
  • Yearly review of NHS member's progress and agreement of individualised goals
  • Focus on management of chronic conditions
  • More support for carers
  • Telehealth products to help people "meet their own care using their own resources"
  • Full-cost charging for the administration of vaccinations for overseas travel
  • Co-payments by patients for the hotel costs of some inpatient hospital care
  • Merger of health and social care to create a National Health and Care Service (NHCS)

NHS 'out-of-date and unaffordable'

A proposed NHS funding revamp championed by a former health minister could raise more than £6 billion a year, its authors said.

Lord Warner said the NHS is its current form was "unaffordable" and hurting other public services:

We can no longer pay homage to an out-of-date and unaffordable NHS that's unfit for today's and tomorrow's care needs.

The day of reckoning has arrived with an obesity epidemic on our doorstep. The NHS has to change radically and fast over a single Parliament with flat-lined funding.

It should have no more hand-outs at the expense of other public services.

– Lord Warner

The report added:

By the end of the next Parliament, providing there was the political will, it is possible to envisage these changes in entitlements yielding over £6 billion a year.

NHS users 'should pay £10 a month membership fee'

People should be charged a £10 monthly membership fee for using the NHS, according to a new report co-authored by former Labour health minister Lord Warner.

Under the proposals, published by centre-right think tank Reform, every resident would pay a "NHS membership" fee to be collected alongside council tax.

The Reform study called for radical changes to how the NHS is funded. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/

The report also recommended hotel-style charges for hospital stays, although it said that those receiving free prescriptions would be exempt from paying for services.

"It is now irresponsible to pretend to the public that current forms of taxation alone will be sufficient to provide a good quality health and care system," the report said.

Load more updates


Today's top stories