Public satisfaction with the NHS has "risen significantly", according to analysis of the influential British Social Attitudes survey.
Of nearly 2,000 people surveyed, 65% were "very" or "quite" satisfied with the NHS.
It is the second highest recorded level, and outright "dissatisfaction" is at an all-time low of 15%.
A BBC/Populus poll this week suggested the NHS was the most important issue ahead of the general election, in May.
The British Social Attitudes survey, conducted by NatCen Social Research, took place in the autumn, well before the widely reported problems in A&E this winter.
It showed public satisfaction at 65% compared with 60% in 2013.
The analysis of the data, by the King's Fund health think tank, showed:
- GPs had the highest level of satisfaction, although the figure of 71% is the lowest recorded
- Satisfaction in A&E stood at 58% and at 69% in out-patient services
- With dentists the figure was 54%
- Meanwhile, just 31% were happy with social care services
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NHS England has issued a cold weather alert for the next seven days, warning the public that services could be disrupted and asking vulnerable patients to take extra care.
On its website it says there is a 70% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions between Monday and Sunday in some regions.
Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and flu.
People can also slip and injure themselves in the ice and snow.
Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
The Met Office says on its website: "After a mild start to Monday colder conditions will gradually spread southeastwards across England today and overnight. Showers will follow, these becoming wintry, even to lower levels at times overnight and also through Tuesday.
"At low levels any snowfall accumulations will be slight, compared to more significant accumulations over higher ground. Icy stretches are also likely to form on untreated surfaces from Monday night, especially across northern England.
"The colder conditions with wintry showers will persist through to Sunday, apart for a milder period Wednesday night when very wet and very windy conditions move east across England. There is some uncertainty for the weekend, but less cold conditions may spread to southern parts for Saturday and Sunday."
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Patients are to be given the option to refer themselves for cancer tests, as part of an NHS England bid to diagnose an extra 10% of people early.
It said it would start testing new ways of speeding up diagnosis, including offering patients the option to book appointments directly with a hospital or testing unit ahead of seeing a GP.
The body will also fund further trials of a pioneering form of radiotherapy.
Currently, around 25% of cancer diagnoses are made too late.
The plans are part of a drive to improve cancer survival rates in England, which are below the European average, especially for people over 75.
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A few days ago we looked at The Guardian’s health news predictions for 2014 to see how accurate, or not, they turned out to be. Of course, it's easy to criticise the work of others (which is pretty much Behind the Headlines’ raison d'être). But we are brave enough to put our money where our mouth is; so here are our own health and medical news predictions for 2015.
To read the predictions click here.
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