Over 50% of the UK Concerned NHS Will Become a Waiting Game

By Simplyhealth, PRNE
Thursday, September 15, 2011

ANDOVER, England, September 16, 2011 -

More than half of the UK are concerned that they will need to wait longer to receive treatment compared to previous years, according to Simplyhealth’s report: Are we an instant health generation? released today.

Changes to the way the NHS operates, and the expected squeeze on NHS budgets are having a serious impact on people’s attitudes towards accessing healthcare. Simplyhealth’s report highlights that not only do they fear waiting times will increase, but 45% also believe that these cuts will mean that they may be denied treatment altogether.

Recent Department of Health statistics support Simplyhealth’s findings, as the number of people waiting longer than six weeks for key NHS tests has almost quadrupled in one year. In June, there were 12,521 people waiting more than six weeks for one of 15 key tests*.

Raman Sankaran spokesperson for Simplyhealth comments: “Against this background of uncertainty, it is understandable that individuals are concerned about their own health and that of their family. Our survey has found that 51% are very worried or slightly worried that they will not be able to afford the costs associated with looking after their healthcare needs within the next 5 years.

“When it comes to your health you don’t want to have to wait. The fact that the NHS is unable to offer this reassurance means that 59% of people are considering going private in order to be seen quickly. With rising inflation rates, being able to spread the cost of healthcare is becoming more and more important. Private companies may need to step in to bridge this gap and to provide people with affordable options to help them cover their healthcare needs.”

Dr Pixie McKenna, better known as resident Doctor on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, is working with Simplyhealth on the survey and comments: “The results of Simplyhealth report: Are we an instant health generation? shows a real need for people to regain their confidence in the NHS. Extended waiting times can often lead to an increase in stress and anxiety, placing more pressure on individuals who are already worried. Even so, it is important for people not to put off visiting their GP, even though there is evidence that waiting lists are growing, it is still vital that people go for that initial consultation either to put their minds at ease or to be referred to a specialist.”

Simplyhealth has been helping people access affordable healthcare for almost 140 years, through a variety of cash plans, dental plans, private medical insurance, and mobility and living aids. For more information or to read the report log onto www.simplyhealth.co.uk or call 0800 072 6715.

To join in discussions about accessing health information and advice and to pose your health questions to Dr Pixie, please visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/simplyhealthuk or follow us on Twitter via www.twitter.com/simplyhealthuk. Or follow the hashtag #instanthealth.  

*Department of Health statistical press notice 10 August 2011: Diagnostics waiting times & activity data, month ending 30 June 2011 and Imaging and Radiodiagnostic activity, financial year 2010/11 www.dh.gov.uk

Notes to Editor

  • The Simplyhealth report: Are we an instant health generation? as well as interviews with a Simplyhealth spokesperson and case studies are available upon request
  • The research for the Simplyhealth report: Are we an instant health generation  was carried out online by YouGov between 26 July 2011 - 28 July 2011. It surveyed 5,097 UK adults aged over 18 and the results are weighted to the profile of the UK’s working population. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines

About Simplyhealth:

  • We became Simplyhealth in 2009 after bringing together HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last nine years to form Simplyhealth
  • We’ve been providing healthcare solutions for nearly 140 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of cash plans, dental plans, private medical insurance, healthcare trusts and mobility and living aids
  • Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • As of December 2010, Simplyhealth had 1.2 million customers providing cover for some 2 million lives
  • Simplyhealth is committed to making a positive impact on its communities. Last year, we donated £1.6 million to health related charities and causes

For further information:


Lynsey Thorp, Public Relations Executive +44(0)844-579-2266
Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Manager +44(0)844-579-2274 / +44(0)7795-294447
Or pr@simplyhealth.co.uk


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