Britons strongly back the creation of a non-political Royal Commission, proposed earlier this month by Lord Saatchi, to ensure the NHS is fit for purpose for the next generation.
In a ComRes opinion poll published today, 61 per cent said they supported a Royal Commission, while only one in twenty (6%) say that the NHS should continue as it is, illustrating widespread agreement that change of some kind is necessary for the future of the NHS.
Half (53%) of British adults say that the NHS faces significant problems that cannot be resolved just by giving the NHS more money.
Voters of all parties support a Royal Commission; 68% of Conservative voters and 61% of Labour voters support the proposal, with Liberal Democrat voters being most supportive with 75% in favour.
(Lord) Maurice Saatchi, who described the NHS as the ‘third rail of politics – touch it and die’, is calling for a Royal Commission in order to depoliticise what has become a toxic and partisan debate in the UK.
It is clear that the country needs a long term solution to an on-going, systemic problem.
Governments working within the constraints of a five-year electoral cycle cannot risk mooting radical reform of the current system. Only a Royal Commission can do this, one removed from the furnace of partisan political debate, Lord Saatchi argues in his recent pamphlet An NHS Royal Commission – from fighting fires to a lasting settlement published by the Centre for Policy Studies.
A Royal Commission can look dispassionately at the big picture – the unfairness of the current situation where lower income groups have worse treatm
ent, an ageing population, social care, funding, the growing prevalence of chronic disease, the effects of Brexit on labour supply, the growing cost of innovation and funding.
Lord Saatchi said:
“A Commission’s investigatory powers and capacity to provide evidenced-based review, free from the constraints of the immediate political cycle, allow it to craft solutions that command the support of practitioners and politicians alike. When set up properly, its recommendations carry a unique legitimacy that could be essential to securing a lasting, bipartisan settlement on the NHS.
"The looming challenges facing the NHS present a unique opportunity to think seriously about what kind of healthcare is expected in 21st Century Britain; and what steps need to be taken to gt there. As we approach the NHS' 70th birthday it would be reckless not to seek a full body check-up - the first in decades - if we want to guarantee another 70 years of world-class healthcare."
Click here for the ComRes report and the data tables.