NHS charges could leave country sicker, poll finds

Mike Underwood | 27 January 2023
NHS charges could leave country sicker, poll finds

More than two thirds of voters say they would delay seeking vital help from a GP or emergency department if they had to pay charges, a new Omnisis poll has revealed.

A staggering 70% said they would delay visiting a GP, while 69% said they would delay going to A&E if charges for NHS services were introduced, as proposed by former health secretary Sajid Javid this week.

He said patients should pay to see a GP or access A&E services in a bid to reduce demand. However, 74% of people said the introduction of charges would lead to the further privatisation of the NHS and 79% said the NHS should remain free at the point of use.

It comes just a week after our shocking poll revealed trust in blue light services is flatlining, with only one in five people confident that paramedics would reach them in an emergency.

Brian Cooper, Managing Director of Omnisis, said: “The British voting public has spoken - charging for services that they’ve already paid for through taxation and national insurance, is not the cure for the NHS crisis.

“The health of the NHS is consistently one of the top concerns of the public and, named by 68% as their top worry ahead of other leading issues such as the economy, inflation, poverty and inequality, crime and disorder and even climate change.”

The latest voter intention tracker results by Omnisis also showed Labour maintaining a second consecutive 50% or above share of the vote for the first time since we started polling in 2021.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s approval rating slumped to its lowest so far as his party tries to claw back the 24-point gap on Labour. Our latest tracker results showed:


  • Labour (50%) now has a 24-point lead over the Conservatives (26%)
  • Disapproval of the PM’s leadership hit a record low, with 47% unimpressed with his performance (a six-point fall from last week). Only 27% think he’s doing a good job with 26% unsure.
  • Sir Keir Starmer stayed ahead as the nation’s choice for Prime Minister with 35% against Rishi Sunak’s 28%, although the Labour leader’s popularity dropped five points this week.


  • The ‘Re-join’ movement continued to gather pace, picking up another three points this week, with 63% of voters saying the UK should look to re-join the European Union. 37% of voters said the UK should stay out.


We asked voters if they’d seen an impact from the government’s flagship ‘Levelling Up’ policy to see if it had made a difference in tackling regional inequalities:

  • 47% said Levelling Up is a myth
  • Only 13% said Levelling Up is working in their region
  • Only 20% have confidence in the government to reduce regional inequality
  • Just 22% said they believe Levelling Up is happening in the UK
  • 48% said there was increased inequality between SE England and the rest of the country 

The poll, conducted on 26th January 2023, questioned 1,084 people and is weighted to a national representative population. The tables will be published here: https://www.omnisis.co.uk/poll-results

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