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Rise in public dissatisfation with NHS.

The biggest ever rise in public dissatisfaction with the NHS was recorded in 2015, according to a long-running survey.

The 2015 poll, by The British Social Attitudes Survey, which has been tracking NHS satisfaction since 1983, shows that nearly 2,200 people were dissatisfied with the NHS at 60 per cent, down from a peak of 70 per cent in 2010.

Twenty three per cent said they were actively dissatisfied - an eight percentage points rise on the previous year and the biggest single annual jump.

Waiting times were cited as the biggest cause of dissatisfaction - mentioned by more than half those questioned - followed by there being not enough staff.

The findings come amid growing pressure on waiting times for cancer care, A&E and routine operations, such as knee and hip operations.

Patients reported highest satisfaction rates for GP services and lowest for social care, which is run by local authorities and covers home help for tasks such as washing and dressing, and care homes.

The survey - carried out by NatCen Social Research - covered Scotland, Wales and England. The differences between the three nations were not considered to be statistically significant.

Chief executive of the King's Fund think-tank, Chris Ham, said that while overall satisfaction levels were still high by historical standards, the findings should act as a "real wake up call.”

He said: "What's gone wrong is the public's perception of the NHS as being under growing pressure. Money is tight, waiting times are getting longer, people are concerned that when they need the NHS it might not be there for them."

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Rob Webster, agreed the public needed reassurance about the future of the NHS.

He said that the most important set of results were on social care and added that the satisfaction levels were "deeply concerning". He added that the system needed greater funding.

A spokesman for the Department of Health in England said: "There is pressure on the NHS as our population ages, and this is why the government is investing record amounts to transform care."