NHS winter pressures affecting 9% of people in England, survey finds

Almost one in ten people have been affected by severe winter pressures in the NHS, new polling shows.

A survey of more than 1,600 adults in England found 9% said they personally had been recently affected by cancelled operations, cancelled appointments or long waiting times.

Campaigning website 38 Degrees, which commissioned the poll, said that when the figure was extrapolated across the country, nearly four million adults have already been affected by winter pressures in the NHS.

The survey also found strong support for an emergency cash boost for the NHS in England.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents were in favour of an emergency injection of cash to help support struggling hospitals while only 4% opposed the notion.

In the autumn Budget, the Government pledged an additional £335 million to help the health service in England to increase capacity over the winter.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) said the Government was managing the current pressures on the NHS badly, 38 Degrees said.

A total of 44% said the Government was to blame for the situation in the nation's hospitals.

9% of people have been affected by NHS winter crisis, 38 Degrees said (PA)
9% of people have been affected by NHS winter crisis, 38 Degrees said (PA)

Last week, health officials estimated that as many as 55,000 routine operations could be deferred during January as the NHS in England focused on patients with the most pressing needs.

NHS England urged hospitals to defer pre-planned operations and routine outpatient appointments until the end of the month.

Trish Murray, campaign manager at 38 Degrees, said: "Most people support an emergency cash injection for the NHS this winter and that's no surprise.

"Cancelled operations and A&Es in crisis are leaving people waiting in pain or scared for their families.

"Theresa May needs to get a grip on this crisis and give the NHS the emergency funds it needs."