Many British people mistrust the NHS despite huge increases in spending, it has been revealed.
A study at the University of Kent found that most people believe that recent NHS reforms have been irrelevant and even damaging, with one respondent commenting that the focus should be on enabling all hospitals to achieve the same standard of healthcare rather than on allowing people to choose between hospitals.
The research, which was carried out by Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby and Dr Andrew Wallace, revealed that people view the bureaucracy surrounding the NHS as "money wasted" when it could be spent directly on healthcare.
Another respondent claimed that the NHS had become too money-orientated. They said: "It feels like there is no humanity left in the NHS. There is no human compassion; it is just as if you are a piece of meat or a pound sign."
Professor Taylor-Gooby, from the university's department of social policy, sociology and social research, said: "If the reforms are seen as a waste of public money and are not trusted, there is a real danger that they could be counter-productive.
"The government needs to do more to consult people and convince them that their concerns are being taken seriously."