SCOTS have more confidence in the NHS than anyone else across the rest of the UK, a fresh YouGov poll has found.

In response to a survey asking “how confident are you, if at all, that the NHS would be able to treat a health need for you and your family quickly and efficiently?”, Scotland came out as the only demographic showing a positive ratio for confidence (+2%).

A total of 50% of respondents from Scotland said they had confidence in the health service compared to just 34% in England, 23% in Northern Ireland and 40% in Wales.

All regions in England came out below 40% and the poll showed even Tory voters in 2019 were deeply skeptical about the strength of the NHS with just 36% saying they had confidence in it while 61% said they didn’t.

The survey sampled 1836 adults in the UK between January 6 and 8.

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SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford said although Scots are well aware of the crisis facing the NHS, they are equally aware of the way Brexit and Covid have impacted on it.

She added differences between the health service in Scotland and England have led to greater trust north of the Border. 

She told the National: “We are in unchartered waters. I don’t like to use the word crisis lightly but it really is from what I’m hearing from my friends and colleagues in the NHS.

The National: Dr Philippa Whitford says there is a good understanding in Scotland of why the NHS is in crisisDr Philippa Whitford says there is a good understanding in Scotland of why the NHS is in crisis

"But I think it’s important to remember that the health service north and south of the Border is quite different. I think some of that feeds into that greater trust.

"The public realise what’s going on, they realise the impact of Covid and the impact of Brexit on workforce. Right back in 2016, that’s what I had as the number one negative impact if people voted for Brexit was the impact on health and social care workers and that is driving a lot of our problems. I think people get that.

“The NHS in Scotland is a single public entity, it is not the kind of fragmented, competing healthcare market that already exists in England. So people see it as their NHS, they still have a sense of owning that.

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“During Covid with the First Minister, people had a lot of trust in what she was saying and trying to do and therefore I think people realise we are in the middle of a perfect storm but nurses, doctors and everyone else are working as hard as they can and the Scottish Government are down the back of the sofa gathering every pound coin they can find to try and give that to staff.”

Other sections of the poll showed support for ambulance strikes was much higher in Scotland than in the UK.

Almost 60% of Scots said they backed the walkouts with just 37% opposed. This contrasts to just over 50% in England and Wales who said they support strikes and 46% in Northern Ireland. 

Scotland has managed to avoid strikes in the ambulance service after the Scottish Government struck a pay deal before Christmas, but there have been walkouts in England and Wales this week.

SNP MSP Emma Harper, who is a former nurse, added: “Despite the many difficult challenges our NHS is facing this winter, it is heartening that the wider Scottish public recognise and appreciate the valiant efforts of staff across all sectors of our health service.

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“The people of Scotland clearly maintain great faith in the NHS. It is testament to the professionalism and dedication of healthcare workers that the majority of Scots who have found themselves in need of the NHS are highly complimentary about the treatment they have received.

“In contrast, satisfaction with the NHS across other nations of the UK appears to be far lower than in Scotland, which suggests opposition politicians should concentrate on putting their own houses in order before using our precious NHS and its brilliant staff as a political football.”

Tables also show Scots come bottom when it comes to turning to private healthcare instead of the NHS. Just 5% in the poll said they had used private healthcare in the last year while 76% said they had not used it or considered it.

In England, 12% said they had used independent healthcare in the last 12 months while only 66% said they had not used it or considered it. In Wales, the results were 8%/73% and in Northern Ireland it came out 16%/62%.