LONDON; April 9, 2019 – Unprecedented demand, combined with increasing expectations for transparency, convenience and quality, are redefining how citizens engage with the NHS at each stage of care, according to the English findings of an Accenture survey.

Accenture’s survey of more than 1,000 English citizens found that patients are increasingly looking for care beyond the doctor’s office—and toward more convenient non-traditional care delivery services such as retail clinics, virtual health, digital therapeutics, or on-demand services. One-third (33 percent) of respondents in England said they have already used some form of virtual care, while 40 percent have used walk-in or retail clinics. Of those who have not tried digital services, many are willing to try them.

If given the choice, citizens would prefer non-traditional methods over traditional ones for certain basic medical needs, including cold/virus treatment (60 percent vs. 47 percent), and remains high across for physical injury (56 percent), STD screenings and treatment (50 percent), and even minor surgery (53 percent).

Influencing satisfaction and care choices

The survey found that satisfaction among citizens hinges on transparency, speed and convenience across all age-groups to some degree. Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents said transparency is a top factor driving their satisfaction with health services, followed by wait/speed of appointment (64 percent), as well as the convenience of the appointment times (62 percent) and location/channel (60 percent).

Experiences in everyday life are shaping what we, as patients, expect to see from healthcare.

Citizens prefer to choose when and where to seek care based on the type of need. Many patients, if given the opportunity, would opt for virtual care when seeking an after-hours appointment (56 percent), a follow-up appointment (54 percent) an exam for a non-urgent condition (48 percent) or even an annual physical exam (34 percent).

With that, interest in virtual care is higher among patients with more complex needs that affect their daily lives. For example, they would seek out acute mental health treatment (21 percent, compared to 11 percent of other citizens), physical injury treatment (21 percent vs.13 percent) and STD screenings/treatment (22 percent vs.12 percent).

“As more patients take control of their own healthcare, the health system must offer meaningful choices and use technology to provide convenient care to their patients,” said Niamh McKenna, head of Accenture’s UK health practice. “Experiences in everyday life are shaping what we, as patients, expect to see from healthcare and we won’t accept anything less.”


As part of a seven-country study highlighting preferences and use of traditional and non-traditional services—including walk-in or retail clinics, virtual health, on-demand services and digital therapeutics—Accenture surveyed 1,014 English citizens (ages 18+) between November and December 2018. Where relevant, select findings are trended from Accenture’s research in 2016 and 2017.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 477,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at

RELATED: Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey


Rosie Milton-Schönemann
Accenture UK
+44 (0) 77 6928 6484

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