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Three quarters of adult Britons trust private healthcare

Benenden Health found strong public trust and relevancy for private healthcare providers.

26th March 2024, by Megan Anderson.

Affordable healthcare provider Benenden Health has found an impressive three quarters (74%) of Britons believe private healthcare is trustworthy.

The survey, conducted in February 2024, also found the same amount (74%) of adults in the UK find private health relevant, with a further 80% of respondents citing that private healthcare providers cut waiting times, rather than adding to them.

Research from the healthcare provider also found that 86% of Britons were concerned about NHS waiting times, a figure which remained consistent with recent quarters, and has been bolstered by recent BBC findings that show the NHS waiting list currently stands at 7.6 million.

The same research, however, found private health has more work to do in informing the public of its benefits. For example, three quarters (74%) of respondents said private health was unaffordable, 69% said they are exclusive and another 69% said they have strict terms and conditions to adhere to.

With 58% of respondents stating that they believe private healthcare is only there if things go wrong, rather than proactively improving health (42%), work also needs to be done in educating people that private healthcare such as Benenden Health's, can support with preventative measures such as sleep hygiene, gut health maintenance and supportive exercise and nutritional guidance.

Benenden Health CEO, Bob Andrews, shared feedback on these findings, “It’s great to see such positive public sentiment towards private health, especially at a time when our NHS needs supportive structures to alleviate pressures in primary care and diagnostics.

“What still needs to be addressed are the misconceptions we found in this research, including beliefs that private healthcare is unaffordable, exclusive, and restrictive. Whilst this may be the case with some providers, we know for a fact - especially in Benenden Health’s case - that is not true, and these are just myths. I am concerned that many could be missing out on a proper consideration of whether private healthcare could meet their needs.

“For example, families and businesses alike may not consider supportive private health due to tightened budgets. Individuals may be hesitant to join a private provider if they have a pre-existing health concern, and in fear of being ‘locked-in’ to strict contracts.

“Greater awareness of the affordable, accessible and inclusive private options, combined with more positive conversations around a hybrid healthcare system, needs to be had. This is not for the benefit of private health companies, but for the benefit of UK citizens and the sustainability of the NHS system itself.”

In 2023, Benenden Health’s core services have also seen a surge in requests from its membership. Its 24/7 GP Helpline service, which allows members to book a phone or video call with a GP was used over 51,000 times in 2023, an increase of 12.5% year-on-year. Likewise, its diagnostic services were requested 89,548 times in 2023, seeing an increase of 61% year-on-year. All for its monthly cost of £15.50** per person, per month.

More information on Benenden Health's services.

The survey was conducted by Benenden Health in February 2024, to a general population of 2,000 adults in the UK. Further sight of the survey can be requested by contacting
*Figures taken from the Office of National Statistics’ census 2022
**From the 1st April 2024