The poll by YouGov for The Sunday Times, found voters’ faith in the national health service was continuing to deteriorate as the UK faces a “public health emergency” caused by rising energy bills and staff shortages.
According to the poll, 64 per cent of voters trusted neither candidate with being able to improve the service, although a further 47 said they did not trust Sir Keir Starmer do so either.
When commenting on the their confidence in the NHS, 58 per cent of respondents said they did not think they would receive timely treatment from the NHS if they fell ill tomorrow, with 36 per cent not confident at all and 22 per cent just not confident.
Some 45 per cent believed the service had worsened in the past 12 months.
It comes as Health Secretary Steve Barclay unveiled a raft of changes ahead of a “challenging” winter as the NHS continues to face Covid-related backlogs, staffing issues and more people coming forward for checks.
While voters in the recent poll believed the NHS is still underfunded, they opposed tax rises designed to pay for it. It was found 43 per cent did not want an increase to national insurance, with 50 per cent of respondents wanting the hike to be reversed – a proposal made by Tory frontrunner Ms Truss.
The latest NHS performance figures showed accident and emergency departments in England had one of their worst months in July, with record numbers of patients waiting more than 12 hours to be admitted and the lowest proportion of people being seen within four hours.
The Royal College of Nursing is currently been campaigning for a fully-funded pay rise of 5 per cent above inflation, which is currently 11.8 per cent, to combat years of wage stagnation and the cost-of-living crisis, saying the current NHS staffing crisis is causing “unacceptable risk to patients and nursing staff”.