Does choice deliver? Public satisfaction with the health service

John Curtice, Oliver Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We examine how much the public say they want choice in the provision of public services, and how far perceptions of the amount of choice they feel they should and do have are related to satisfaction with public services. Our findings cast critical light on some of the claims made by both opponents and advocates of choice about the value the public place on choice. The claim of opponents that the public do not want choice is not supported. Citizens say they want choice and the more they say they want it the less satisfied they are with NHS hospital services. However, the claim that citizens value choice for its own sake is also not supported. Public perceptions of how much choice people have over which hospital they attend are not associated with service satisfaction once we take into account perceptions of how much patients are involved in their treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-503
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number3
Early online date13 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • public opinion
  • public service reform
  • national health service
  • choice
  • public satisfaction
  • health service


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