Published: 01/07/2004, Volume II3, No. 5912 Page 8

Public confidence in improvements in the NHS has risen above 50 per cent for the first time in 18 months, according to MORI research.The survey, announced by Department of Health director of communications Sian Jarvis, shows that 51 per cent of the public have a positive view of the NHS, the highest figure since December 2002 and following a marked dip in confidence last summer.The research also showed, said Ms Jarvis, that public enthusiasm for their 'local NHS' continues to outstrip by far perceptions of the NHS as a national body. However, the research also showed that the NHS's own staff can be its biggest critics, with more than 60 per cent of both GPs and hospital doctors saying they were critical of current policies.