New YouGov polling has found that two-thirds (65%) of British adults support the NHS using more independent health providers to perform operations or treatments, as long as they remain free at the point of use and cut down waiting times.
This data comes amid cross-party calls for greater independent sector involvement in the NHS, and at a time when NHS waiting lists continue to rise, hitting a new record of 7.75m in England despite Rishi Sunak making reducing the waiting times one of his central pledges.
The figures also show that 71% of Brits support insourcing, a process whereby independent health providers utilise existing NHS facilities and equipment to maximise its use at times when they are not otherwise being used, such as during evenings and at weekends, to perform NHS operations and treatments.
Former Government Health Adviser Ed Jones, says: “Healthcare leaders, managers and Ministers have struggled to deliver a truly seven-day NHS. But the NHS needs all the additional, high-quality capacity it can find if it’s to reduce the waiting list and treat patients on time. Driving better use of their own fixed assets by bringing in clinical teams to fully utilise facilities (notably at evenings and weekends) is proving an increasingly common solution for many hospitals - particularly for priority services like cancer diagnosis.”
The polling was commissioned by 18 Week Support, which provides insourcing support to NHS Trusts.