The British feel good about the future of healthcare

Attitude shift from treatment to wellbeing

According to a large consumer survey sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Thornton & Ross, over half of people in the UK are optimistic about the future of health provision. The survey questioned two thousand people in the UK on their opinion with regard to the future of healthcare. A further 16,000 people were surveyed from other European countries.

The key findings were as follows:

  • Webcam appointments; only half of people would be happy with a doctor webcam consultation. 51% say a webcam would feel weird or there would be need for personal interaction in any event.
  • People in the UK are more aware of mental health issues than elsewhere in Europe.
  • Half of us feel close to or experiencing burnout at some time in our lives.
  • 41% of us say the rise in burnouts is very alarming but one in six of us says it’s a 'fad' or 'hyped' up.
  • 50% are willing to use technology in certain situations, but 23% still have serious questions about some technology developments.
  • Overall, half of us are optimistic about the future of health.
  • Use of robotic surgery; half of us say we would be willing to have a robot involved in surgery, if under supervision from a doctor, but 23% say they would never put their life in the hands of a machine.
  • Nearly eight in ten of us would agree to have our genes tested to be informed about future risks to our health.
  • Only 28% of us know what can actually be discovered by genetic testing. 
  • Women are more likely to try self-medicate when they feel unwell. 36% say they self-medicate with household remedies, such as honey and lemon, peppermint or a hot water bottle, with a minor illness as opposed to going to the chemist or doctors for medication. Only 23 percent of men say the same.
  • Most of us are not planning on changing our status as organ donors when the law changes next year. (NB From spring 2020, the UK will move to an opt-out system where anyone who does not want their organ and tissue donated will need to actively say so). 55% of those questioned in the UK say they would keep their status as donors because it is ‘good and sensible’.

Importance of health education

Roger Scarlett-Smith, Executive Vice President of Thornton & Ross, says: “The findings of this study demonstrate that we have every reason to feel optimistic regarding the future of health in the UK.  Aside from occasional spells of apprehension towards more invasive and digital advancements in medicine, the British, alongside the rest of Europe, generally keep an open mind on health-related matters of the future. Health education and literacy in the UK – particularly among the younger generations – are key to addressing any remaining concerns so that we can look to the future of health with confidence.

Future of Healthcare shifting to 'wellbeing'

“This, combined with the digital transformation enabled by real-time data measurement, means we are in a better position than ever to positively impact our health – rather than responding to illness, we believe the future is likely to revolve around sustaining wellbeing. The insight gathered through this report enables Thornton & Ross and the STADA Group to be at the forefront of understanding the consumer behavior that will drive this health model.”

Thornton & Ross are part of the German group STADA and are based in Huddersfield. The company is one of the largest over the counter (OTC) pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK, with brands including Covonia®, Cetraben®, Hedrin®, Savlon® and Zoflora®.

The survey was conducted by market research institute Kantar Health on behalf of STADA Arzneimittel AG. A copy of the full report is available here.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
Relating to the genes, the basic units of genetic material. Full medical glossary
over the counter Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary