MOST people would be willing to pay more tax for a better NHS, a poll has revealed as the service marks its 70th anniversary.

More than four in five people (84 per cent) said they would be happy to contribute more if the level of the service "improved a great deal", according to a survey by the NHS Confederation.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) said they would be willing to pay more to see slight improvements in the NHS, while 61 per cent said they would do so just to ensure services remain at current levels.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a five-year funding deal for the NHS last month, which means the NHS in England will receive an additional £20 billion a year in real-terms funding by 2024 paid for through higher taxes, borrowing and a disputed 'Brexit Bonus'.

That will translate into around £2 billion extra for Scotland under the Barnet formula.

This represents an average 3.4 per cent annual increase and is below the four per cent recommended by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation as the minimum necessary to deliver improvements to the NHS.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Niall Dickson, said: "The poll shows that the British people are willing to pay more for better care and that there is an understanding we have to change the way we deliver care - we cannot go on as we have been.

"But we must not raise expectations about what can be achieved - there will be tough decisions ahead.

"The settlement is welcome, but falls short of the 4 per cent independent experts say we need to deliver even modest improvements."

He added: "It is now undeniably clear there is an appetite among the taxpayers to put their hands in their pockets for the cash we need to make the NHS a service we can be proud of in its 70th year and for the years to come."

More than 1,000 adults from England, Scotland and Wales took part in the Ipsos MORI survey.