Labour has almost doubled its poll lead over the Conservatives on health since the general election campaign in the face of concern over rising waiting times and falling standards, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI.
A survey carried out over the weekend - at the end of the week in which the government announced a major overhaul of its controversial Health and Social Care Bill - put Labour 16 percentage points ahead on 37 per cent compared to the Conservatives’ 21 per cent.
The Liberal Democrats, whose leader Nick Clegg declared the changes to the bill were a victory for his party, have gained two points, with 11 per cent of respondents rating them the best on health.
The results of the survey of 1,003 British adults continue a general downward trend for the Conservatives’ position on health since a peak of almost 30 per cent in the summer of 2008.
In March last year Labour were nine points ahead with a third of respondents saying Labour had the best policies on healthcare and 24 per cent backing the Tories.
The latest poll showed David Cameron’s recent promise that waiting times will not rise under his party failed to convince 44 per cent of respondents who thought waits would get longer; 13 per cent thought they would get better while 39 per cent believed they would stay the same.
Asked whether they thought the standards of NHS care would get better or worse over the 12 months, 35 per cent thought it would get worse and just 15 per cent thought it would get better.
A fifth of respondents thought the NHS would spend money more efficiently going forward but almost double the number of people thought it would get worse.
Respondents were most confident in their GPs, with more than half thinking the service would stay the same and just 27 per cent thinking it would get worse.