New Commission on Future of Health and Social Care

Sunday, 18th August 2013

Published 18 August 2013.

The Kings Fund has set up a new Commission which will examine the way in which health and social care is organised and funded in the UK and consider whether the systems could be better aligned to meet the needs of patients and users of social care services.

The Commission has been established on the back of evidence that elderly people are living much longer and in many cases with long-term conditions. They are occupying more and more hospital beds and are requiring much more care at home. They also often have a range of needs which are much harder to compartmentalise between health and social care.

In order to achieve a sustainable level of high quality care services that meet the needs of individuals and families in the future there will need to be much better co-ordination of care services and also a much better provision of services capable of supporting elderly people closer to home, rather than through sudden stays in hospital or long-term residential care facilities.

Similarly, there may be a need to simplify and combine the funding of health and social care services which are currently entirely separate – the NHS remains a universal system available to all whilst social care is funded through local authorities and is subject to a needs assessment and financial means-testing.

The Commission will report in early 2014 and will consider three key issues:

  • Does the boundary between health and social care need to be redrawn? If so, where and how? What other ways of defining health and social care needs could be more relevant / useful?
  • Should the entitlements and criteria used to decide who can access health and care be aligned? If so, who should be entitled to what and on what grounds?
  • Should health and social care funding be brought together? If so, at what level (i.e. local or national) and in what ways? What is the balance between the individual and the state in funding services?

About Carefound Home Care:

Carefound Home Care is a provider of specialist home care and dementia care services to elderly people in North Yorkshire, enabling clients to continue to live independently in the comfort of their own home whilst maintaining the highest quality of life achievable. Services provided include basic help in the home, companionship, personal care, medication help, post-operative rehabilitation, respite careand specialist help such as dementia care and palliative care. The flexible service ranges from 1 hour to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and can also encompass 24-hour live in careservices.

Source: Carefound Home Care, The Kings Fund.