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Only nurses trusted more than pharmacists, survey finds


Only nurses trusted more than pharmacists, survey finds

More than eight out of 10 people trust their local pharmacy to provide the right health advice, outstripping hospitals, health tech companies and pharma businesses, according to a new global study on trust in healthcare across 13 countries.

Pharmacists have overtaken ‘my doctor’ and are now second only to nurses as the nation’s most trusted sources to tell the truth about health issues and advise on how best to protect the health of the public, the survey finds. In addition, after cost, a lack of information and conflicting or changing expert advice is seen as the second biggest barrier to good health.

Other key findings include the cost-of-living crisis seen as the number one societal factor worsening health, with 71 per cent of respondents in the UK indicating that inflation – which is the highest in the G7 nations – is negatively impacting their health.

People in the UK consider their overall health to be among the poorest in the world. Just one in three (35 per cent) trust the Government to do what is right to support their health. On this measure, despite 75 years of access to public healthcare free at the point of care, the UK is outperformed by countries including India (69 per cent), China (60 per cent) and the US (41 per cent) where people on lower incomes are more likely to report better overall health than in this country. 

The findings are contained in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust in Health.

“This year’s data paints a concerning picture of the nation’s health, but simultaneously presents clear, practical ways to effect change,” comments Eleanor Read, managing director, health, at Edelman UK. “People’s increased trust in pharmacies may reflect a trend that we saw accelerate during the Covid-19 pandemic: a preference for health advice delivered in-person, at a community level.”

“Proposed policy changes look set to grant pharmacists [in the UK] greater responsibility and freedom to support the nation’s health. There is a great opportunity for them to embrace that head on and harness this increased level of trust to effect positive change,” she says.

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