Responding to today's announcement of the membership and terms of reference for the new Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, the Chief Executive of The King's Fund, Professor Chris Ham, said:
'The Secretary of State's commitment to introduce legislation in the next session of Parliament sends a welcome signal that reforming social care remains a priority for the coalition government. The Commission's task will be to make this possible by building public support for the need for change and setting out a blueprint for reform that commands support across the political spectrum.
'More than a decade after the Royal Commission set up by the previous government reported, the commissioners will need no reminding of the scale of the challenge ahead. Between them, they bring the knowledge, experience and commitment to meet this challenge and devise a settlement that politicians from all parties will have to take notice of.
'The Commission's first task will be to feed into the Spending Review. In doing so, we hope it will stress the need to break down barriers between health and social care and pool budgets at a local level. With the NHS facing the most significant financial challenge in its history and substantial cuts to social care budgets likely to follow, stronger integration between health and social care services is not just desirable, it is essential.
'We welcome the acknowledgement in the Commission's terms of reference that the new settlement must be based on a partnership between individuals and the state. We continue to believe that the partnership model developed by The King's Fund offers a viable basis for a new settlement. This would be far more generous than the current system and would meet the key tests of fairness, affordability and sustainability that will be at the forefront of the commissioners' minds.'
Notes to editors:
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