Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England

4 September 2014
NCPC's response to new report.

The independent Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England, chaired by economist Kate Barker, has today published its new report,  A new settlement for health and social care. The report makes significant recommendations for changes to the way heath and social care are linked and delivered in England.

The key recommendations are:

  • The commission recommends moving to a single, ring-fenced budget for the NHS and social care, with a single commissioner for local services.
  • A new care and support allowance, suggested by the commission, would offer choice and control to people with low to moderate needs while at the highest levels of need the battlelines between who pays for care – the NHS or the local authority – will be removed.
  • Individuals and their carers would benefit from a much simpler path through the whole system of health and social care that is designed to reflect changing levels of need.
  • The commission also recommends a focus on more equal support for equal need, which in the long term means making much more social care free at the point of use.
  • The commission largely rejects new NHS charges and private insurance options in favour of public funding.

Speaking in response to the report, Simon Chapman, Director of Public and Parliamentary Engagement for the National Council for Palliative Care, said:

“We welcome today’s very important and timely report and absolutely agree with the Commission that the way that health and social care are currently organised and funded creates confusion and a great deal of distress.

Nowhere is this more apparent than for people who are approaching the end of their life, who can face enormous problems accessing the care and support that they need before it’s too late. Time is of the essence when you are dying, which is why the first question we should be asking dying people should not be how much money do they have, but rather how their needs can be met at such an important time. However, the current means-test means that people at the end of life are having to stay in hospital much longer than they need to, when they would rather be cared for at home.

We therefore completely welcome the Commission’s recommendation that the means-test be done away with for people with critical or substantial levels of need, and believe this should be a starting point and that free social care should become available to everyone who is dying.”

Further information

1. Click here to read the full report on the King's Fund website.

2. For all media enquiries including to arrange an interview please contact Joe Levenson, Director of Communications at the National Council for Palliative Care on 020 7697 1520 or 07795 158003.

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