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Are we delaying treatment to help ease pressure on the NHS?

18th December 2017

Having surveyed over 2,000 people, the results of this research show that 69% of British NHS users would delay a non-urgent GP or hospital appointment to help ease pressure on the NHS over the winter period. Among the same results, it was shown that 45% of people worry that they might receive a lower standard of health care during the same time.

These concerns echo recent NHS data which suggests that more people are waiting longer than the official 18-week target for non-urgent treatment* this year, with some saying that these waiting times are at their highest for nine years. The winter months are known to place additional strain on NHS services, so to enter the winter period on this footing may give some cause for concern.

According to our research, younger generations worry more about their health at this time of year with over half (55%) of 16 to 24-year olds concerned about contracting norovirus (the winter vomiting bug) compared to just 35% of those aged 55 and above.

Surprisingly, we found that nearly a third of people (31%) would not visit a friend or relative in hospital in winter for fear of being struck down with the bug.

To help illustrate the rest of our findings, we thought it best to include these in the infographic below:


You can find more information on our medical law services here.