Almost 40% of people don't know or think that Westminster is in charge of health in Wales

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62% of people surveyed thought the government in Wales make the decisions Credit: PA Images

Almost 40% of people don't know or think that Westminster is in charge of health in Wales, an exclusive ITV Wales poll has found.

Healthcare is devolved and is the responsibility of the Labour-run Welsh Government, but only 62% of people surveyed thought the government in Wales make the decisions.

The different approaches to lockdown taken by the four nations has been at the centre of the pandemic, and has heightened the differences between governments. There have been stark contrasts in language and tangible variations in law-enforced rules, such as the easing of restrictions.

The First Minister has been unapologetic in his more cautious approach, in particular with travel, extended bubbles and the reopening of pubs and gyms. The Prime Minister has been quicker to ease regulations.

Credit: Welsh Government

However, the poll shows there is greater trust in the Welsh Government and the First Minister in comparison to their UK Government counterparts.

70% think the Welsh Government is handling the pandemic well, whereas nearly 57% think the UK Government is not handling it very well.

Likewise, 53% of people trust that Mark Drakeford will make the right decisions to tackle coronavirus in comparison to Boris Johnson - only 31% trust in his decision making.

Analysis by Health Correspondent James Crichton-Smith

The health service is Welsh Labour's biggest responsibility, its biggest challenge and arguably its greatest threat.

When you've been in power as long as Labour in Wales, you have only yourself to blame in any election. With no other party having a play with the levers of power it's impossible to argue that were you given the opportunity, you'd move those levers differently. You've had your hands on the levers all along.

When it comes to the health service, Welsh Labour will be keen to show off its successes. It might be a new hospital, it might be a unique care pathway or a shorter waiting time or response model.

Yes many of these will be local decisions by local health boards, but Wales is a small place and devolved government is never that far away.

With all the successes, though, come the failures.

The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the issue of devolution in the four nations' health service Credit: PA Images

It might be A&E waiting times, failures in maternity or older people's mental health services. Again a lot of the responsibility will be with the local health boards, but look a little higher up the chain and there will be government influence.

Overarching health strategies, decisions on how to allocate funding for things like winter (better-named all-year) pressures, decisions on whether or not to put a health board into special measures and decisions over what drugs are available all go through the Welsh Government.

At eight months away, May's election might feel like a distant thought, but don't be fooled.

Just eight months ago, we'd barely uttered the words coronavirus or social distancing - now look at us. That a pandemic has struck is another devolved health challenge, the response to which politicians will likely be judged on at the ballot box.

YouGov polled 1,110 Welsh voters for ITV Cymru Wales between 28 August and 4 September.