62% of people in Wales ignore health concerns, reveals new poll

Many are not seeking treatment for their health concerns. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Concerns over getting seen and people thinking their medical problems are not serious are the main reasons behind a majority in Wales not seeking medical advice when they have symptoms.

The numbers come amid significant pressures on Welsh NHS fuelled by Covid-19 and seasonal pressures.

The most common reason given by respondents was the symptoms did not seem serious (53%) followed by the time taken to be seen (25%) and nervous about the outcome (17%).

Long term impact of Covid-19

The impact of Covid-19 on the Welsh NHS has been well documented with some leaders suggesting services would need to be rationed to deal with clinical demands. Our poll showed a mixed picture in terms of how people felt the service will look after the pandemic.

The rest didn't know.

Welsh Government handling

Health minister Eluned Morgan has announced several rounds of additional funding for health services in a bid to stem growing waiting lists. Latest figures show a record breaking equivalent of 1 in 5 of the Welsh population waiting for treatment.

> This winter will be 'one of the hardest we've ever faced', says NHS Wales boss

But the latest poll suggests a majority still support how the service is managed and run by ministers in Cardiff bay.

How well or badly do you think the Welsh Government are doing at handling the Welsh NHS?

  • Well 50%

  • Badly 36%

  • Don't know 14%

Health minister Eluned Morgan is grappling with rising waiting lists and a backlog due to the pandemic. Credit: ITV News

Voting intentions

Several Conservative seats won at the last UK election could be at risk for the party as their support in Wales has dipped.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has endured a torrid few weeks with a string of negative headlines seemingly impacting on support for his party. The Conservatives in Wales are down again too.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street Credit: Stefan Rosseau/PA

Latest Westminster voting intentions:

  • Labour 41% (+2)

  • Conservatives 26% (-3)

  • Plaid Cymru 13% (-4)

  • Liberal Democrats 3% (No change)

  • Green Party 6% (+1)

  • Reform UK 7% (+2)

  • Other 3% (+1)

Analysis from Prof Roger Awan-Scully, Cardiff University:

'These figures suggest the recent decline in the Britain-wide poll ratings of the Conservative is being mirrored here in Wales – our latest estimate puts the Welsh Tories fully ten points below the level of support that they secured in the December 2019 general election.

"Labour’s position, by contrast, appears to be very solid, while Plaid Cymru appear to have slipped back after an unusually strong showing in our autumn poll.

"It is also interesting to observe, in the wake of their spectacular by-election success this week not far over the border in North Shropshire, that there has been no apparent improvement in the position of the Liberal Democrats.

Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns' seat could be at risk under these numbers Credit: ITV Wales

What might be the implications of these numbers in terms of parliamentary seats?

"We know that boundary changes, cutting the number of Welsh seats and substantially shifting constituency boundaries, are likely to occur in the next two years.

"Before those changes are confirmed, however, we currently have only the current set of boundaries to work with.

If we take the levels of support suggested by our new poll, and the changes since December 2019 are projected uniformly across Wales, this produces eight projected Labour seat gains in Wales, all from the Conservatives.

"The seats Labour would be projected to gain are (in order of their current percentage marginality): Delyn, Bridgend, Clwyd South, Vale of Clwyd, Ynys Mon, Wrexham, Aberconwy and the Vale of Glamorgan."

This would give an overall seat total in Wales of:

Labour: 30 (+8)

Conservatives: 6 (-8)

Plaid Cymru: 4 (no change)

YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,009 Welsh voters, aged 16+, between 13th and 16th December for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University.