Four out of five Britons are worried about the NHS’s ability to provide safe care for patients during strikes by nurses and ambulance workers, a new poll has found.
While around half of those surveyed said they support the planned industrial action, the majority expressed concern about the impact on patient safety.
The Ipsos poll of 1,100 adults found that 80% were very or fairly concerned about the ability of the NHS to provide safe care for people during the nurses’ strike, which began on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 82% of those questioned in the survey said they are very or fairly concerned about patient safety during the ambulance workers’ industrial action, with the first strike planned for 21 December.
The new poll comes as the NHS continues to face high demand and widespread staffing gaps, with health leaders fearing this winter will be the most difficult in the health service’s history.
Ambulances have been struggling to meet response times targets, while new data published on Thursday shows handover delays at hospitals in England have hit a new high.
But the Ipsos survey suggests that, nevertheless, more people are supportive of the industrial action than are opposed to it.
Some 50% of those questioned said they either strongly support or tend to support the industrial action by nurses, while 47% are supportive of the ambulance worker strikes.
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Source: The National, 15 December 2022