Responding to the publication of NHS England’s national call to action, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:
'The call to action signals a welcome willingness to initiate an important and wide-ranging debate about the future of the NHS and social care. Fundamental change is required to respond to the needs of an ageing population, changing burden of disease and rising patient expectations.
'The government's recent NHS reforms failed to address these challenges. This time politicians and policy-makers must deliver - this means having the courage to transform services, rather than making further bureaucratic and structural changes.
'The time has come to return to first principles and ask whether the current arrangements are fit for purpose – this is why The King's Fund has launched an independent commission to ask whether the post-war settlement, which established separate systems for health and social care, remains fit for purpose.
'The significant financial and service pressures facing the NHS and social care will continue for some time yet, so it will be important to be honest with the public about the implications of this in the run-up to the next General Election and beyond.'
Notes to editors:
For further information or to request an interview, please contact The King's Fund press office on 020 7307 2585 (or 07584 146035 if calling out of hours).
The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.