Wales 'satisfied' with NHS and schools, says survey

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Media captionThe National Survey asked 14,500 people from across Wales their views

The majority of people in Wales are happy with NHS care and schools, according to a national survey.

Of those asked, 92% said they were satisfied with their GP service and children's primary school, despite warnings about education failings in Wales.

Only 57% said their local authority provided high quality services.

The National Survey asked 14,500 people from across Wales their views on wellbeing and public services.

The survey also found:

  • 91% of people were satisfied with the care they received at their last appointment at an NHS hospital
  • 85% were satisfied with their child's secondary school
  • 79% of people felt safe on public transport after dark
  • 75% of households had access to the internet - up from 73% in 2012
  • 92% of homes had at least one smoke alarm

More than a third of people - 38% - found it difficult to make a GP appointment, but 96% said they felt they were treated with dignity and respect when they did get one.

Levels of satisfaction with care received at hospital were lower in Powys Teaching Health Board than in other areas, with a significant drop since last year.

83% said they were satisfied with care this year compared to 92% in 2012-13.

The satisfaction figure across Wales was 91%.

Just over half of parents said they supported their child with school work several times a week, while 82% said they read stories to their children.

Only a quarter of those asked said they felt that they could influence decisions affecting their local area, with residents in Carmarthenshire and Bridgend among those who felt they had the least say.

Though the survey found more people in Wales have access to the internet compared to 2012, deprivation remains a barrier to digital inclusion - with 24% of those living in the worst poverty having no access to online services.

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  • 92% satisfied with their last GP visit
  • 38% had difficulty getting a GP appointment
  • 91% satisfied with hospital appointment
  • 94% had hospital appointment at convenient date and time
  • Overall satisfaction with NHS 6.2 out of 10

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  • 92% of parents satisfied with their child's primary school
  • 85% satisfied with their child's secondary school
  • Highest rating for education system in Flintshire at 6.7 out of 10
  • Lowest rating for education system Rhondda Cynon Taf at 6 out of 10
  • Overall satisfaction with education system 6.3 out of 10

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  • 79% of people feel safe on public transport after dark
  • 77% most likely to use their car to travel to work
  • 17% most likely to walk to work
  • 49% most likely to walk to local shops
  • Overall satisfaction with transport system 5.9 out of 10

Local councils

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  • 24% felt they could influence decisions in their area
  • 77% across Wales agreed their area was free from graffiti and vandalism
  • 93% in Powys agreed their area was free from graffiti and vandalism
  • 65% in Merthyr Tydfil said their area was free from graffiti and vandalism
  • 57% said their council provided high quality services

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  • average satisfaction with personal relationships was 8.6 out of 10
  • satisfaction with life rating 7.7 out of 10
  • satisfaction with households financial situation was 6.9 out of 10
  • 77% said they felt happy all or most of the time over previous month
  • 1% said they had not felt happy at all over previous month

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Internet access

  • 75% of households in Wales have internet access
  • 34% of households living in social housing have no internet access
  • 52% use mobile phone to access internet, up from 41% a year ago
  • 33% use tablets for the internet, up from 17% a year earlier
  • 25% of people of 75 or over use the internet

Smoke alarms

  • 8% of households do not have a working smoke alarm
  • 6% of households with children do not have a working smoke alarm
  • 9% of households without children lack a working smoke alarm

Finance minister Jane Hutt said the Welsh government would use the survey to develop public services.

"The results being published today are very encouraging and show people in Wales have a high level of satisfaction with the key public services they access," she said.

"I'm sure local authorities and local health boards will also find these results useful as they plan the services they'll be delivering over the coming year."

Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman Elin Jones said health workers should be "congratulated" for ensuring most people had a positive experience of the NHS.

But she warned there appeared to be "increasing concern in many communities" over Welsh ministers' "lack of leadership in delivering health provision".

"The Welsh government's threat to centralise community-based services is eroding trust, and this is shown in the figures," she said.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams welcomed the overall satisfaction levels for public services.

But she argued an "increasing number" of people felt they were being let down "whether it be in health or education".

"Month after month important health targets are missed by this Welsh Labour government, patients deserve better," she added.

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