Doctors for Reform – ICM poll

Doctors for Reform has conducted a new poll as part of its top-up campaign. The campaign aims to help patients who have been prevented from paying extra towards their NHS care in order to receive new drugs and treatments. The results of the poll indicate that the campaign has strong support from the public.

The full poll details are available here. In summary:

  • Only 7 per cent of voters support the Government’s top-up policy. Only 7 per cent agree that “Patients should have to pay for all their care if they want to pay anything extra.”
  • Of the remainder, a majority of voters support the Doctors for Reform campaign. 48 per cent of all people agree that “The NHS should allow patients to pay for extras without making them pay the total cost of their care.” 43 per cent agree that “The NHS should always pay for every treatment regardless of the cost to the taxpayer.”
  • The great majority of voters would pay extra towards their healthcare if they are diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Excluding “don’t knows”, 77 per cent of voters would pay extra.
  • Voters are willing to pay very large proportions of their annual income to top-up. 31 per cent of people would pay more than £10,000. The average (mean) amount is £6,750. Put into context, the average person working full-time currently earns just under £24,000 per year (April 2007, latest figures).
  • There are also differences in opinion between age groups which suggest that support for the DFR campaign will grow over time:
  • Younger voters strongly support the campaign. Of 25-34 year-olds, 63 per cent support top-up and only 30 per cent think that the NHS should pay for everything. For 18-24 year-olds, the respective figures are 48 per cent and 40 per cent.
  • And more young people would top-up than the average. Of 25-34 year-olds, 41 per cent would pay more than £10,000. 35 per cent of 18-24 year-olds would.

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1011 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 28-29 May 2008. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at