Press release

NHS – Crisis of confidence, say over 50s

Wednesday 5 March 2014

• Poll of 12,000 people show 42% of over 50s feel NHS is getting worse
• 44% of over 50s think the NHS will be in an even worse state in five years
• Five years of polls show over 50s think NHS has got steadily worse

Whilst the nation adores many of the brilliant and hardworking health service doctors, nurses and staff – increasing numbers of Britain’s over 50s think the NHS is sadly getting worse – repeated polls have shown.

Thousands of Saga customers asked over the last five years have consistently revealed negative perceptions of the health service – and what’s more, many don’t see it improving any time soon.

In a Saga Health Insurance-commissioned survey, carried out by Populus in 2009*, 17% of more than 9,400 over 50s asked said the NHS had got worse. Fast forward to the most recent poll**, from December last year, and 42% of the 12,000 people polled think the NHS has worsened over the previous two years. Not only that, 44% of respondents said the NHS would be even worse in two years’ time.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “It seems that the over 50s need reassurance that the health service will give them the treatment they expect when they need it. Recent reports about the apparent rationing of medicine according to age will only serve to further worry older people."

Saga has seen an increasing number of people taking out their highest level of private health insurance, to ensure that they are seen promptly and treated attentively.


Notes to editors
• *Populus interviewed 9,441 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 11th and 21st September 2009. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• **Populus interviewed 12,365 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 11th and 19th December 2012. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Saga Health Insurance: Saga HealthPlan Super
Opinions on the state of the NHS coincide with an increase in the number of Saga Health Insurance customers who have taken out its top level of cover. More and more over 50s are opting for Saga HealthPlan Super, which is now the most popular plan for new customers and has a 5 Star Rating from independent financial research company Defaqto. Super is Saga’s highest level of protection for eligible in-patient and day-patient treatment, and unlimited out-patient treatment for consultations, diagnostic tests, scans and physiotherapy.
The key features are:
• Full out-patient cover for consultations, diagnostics scans and physiotherapy
• Up to £1,500 cover for recuperative care
• Home nursing cover
• Dental cash benefit
• Up to £1,500 towards complementary therapies
• Cover for psychiatric treatment up to £1,500
• Saga GP Telephone Consultation Service.