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30% 'satisfied with social care'

Less than one in three people are satisfied with the state of social care, a poll has suggested.

Only 30% of people said they were content with social care services provided by local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, found the British Social Attitudes 2011 survey.

The study, which questioned 1,103 people about their views on health and social care between July and September last year, also found that 31% of people were "very" or "quite" dissatisfied with the services for people who cannot look after themselves because of illness, disability or old age.

However, the authors of the research, published by think-tank The King's Fund, said that 28% of those questioned were neutral and 11% said they "did not know" which could "indicate a relative lack of knowledge about social care services rather than a low satisfaction".

The poll found that 61% of people were satisfied with how the NHS is run - a slight increase from the previous year.

Between 2010 and 2011 there was a record fall in satisfaction with the health service - from 70% to 58%.

"The British Social Attitudes survey has provided an important barometer of how the public views the NHS since 1983," said John Appleby, chief economist at The King's Fund.

"With no real change in satisfaction with the NHS in 2012, this suggests the record fall in 2011 was not a blip and that the ground lost may take some time to recover."

NHS Confederation director of policy Dr Johnny Marshall added: "The recent report into Mid Staffordshire rightly identified that it is crucial for every local organisation to pay careful attention to what their patients and communities are saying about services, using feedback from individual experiences as well as surveys like this.

"The findings indicate the majority of the public are satisfied with the NHS, and it is particularly good to see a rise in the proportion of people satisfied with A&E services compared to the previous year. But there is absolutely no room for complacency. We should be aiming for every patient to report full satisfaction with their care."

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