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Editor's blog Tuesday 8 February 2011: BMJ readers' poll offers cold comfort on confidence in reform

Online opinion polls are often, let's be frank, pretty bogus. Tiny samples and deliberately contentious issues.

One has just been published by the British Medical Journal, however, which is a bit harder to dismiss than many in the healthcare publishing marketplace.

It finds that almost three quarters (72%) of BMJ readers think healthcare in England in five years’ time will be worse or much worse compared with now.

The results show that just over one in ten (11%) think healthcare will be better; while only 4% believe it will be much better. 13% think it will be the same.

A total of 1,183 votes were cast on www.bmj.com over the last 14 days.

Commenting on the results, BMJ Editor in Chief Dr Fiona Godlee said, “These results reflect a consensus of concern among healthcare professionals about the government’s plans for the NHS in England in these exceptionally tight economic times. The BMJ shares the widely held fear that the reforms could destabilise the NHS and damage patient care”.