One in five people have turned to private healthcare a recent survey has revealed.

The survey of 4,000 people by independent charity Engage Britain has found that 21 per cent of people have ‘gone private’ due to not being able to get treatment they urgently need.

In addition, over a quarter of people, 27 per cent, feel “dismissed” by healthcare workers with patients stating they feel they are being told off, patronised or that their problems are not as serious as they believe.

Spire Healthcare is the second largest private provider of healthcare in the UK and has hospitals in both Worcester and Droitwich.

In the second quarter of 2021, April to June, Spire saw an 81 per cent increase in “self-pay spending” when compared with the same period in 2019.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS waiting list is a driver for people deciding to use self-pay, people are in pain and they are choosing not to wait for incredibly stretched GP services and the NHS to treat them.

“People accessing private healthcare via self-pay can access consultants directly and are choosing not to wait for a GP appointment, there is heightened awareness of this route to healthcare.”

The spokesperson also stated that Spire sees the most demand in orthopaedics, ophthalmology, gynaecology and general surgery.

The study by Engage Britain also uncovered several other issues facing the NHS.

Almost a third of people, 31 per cent, stated they didn’t know where to turn for healthcare wile two in five people say they have ‘had to fight’ to get health treatment for themselves or a loved one.

Meanwhile one in five people form ethnic minority backgrounds stating they have experienced racism from NHS staff.

Despite all this, 77 per cent of people surveyed said that the NHS made them proud to be British while a similar figure, 71 per cent, believes the service is underfunded.

Julian McCrae, director of Engage Britain, said: “The NHS unites so many of us with a feeling of pride.

“But the fact is millions are also being let down every day by our health and care services… It’s vital that future changes address the daily challenges that so many in Britain are facing.”