Integration with health could be staging post to devolved public service budgets

Richard Humphries
Reference:  9 June 2015

As the post-election dust settles, the Queen’s speech confirms that the integration of health and social care continues as a headline policy commitment, with the better care fund and ‘DevoManc’ as flagship policies intended to make this happen. But will they be enough?

Last year the independent Barker Commission highlighted the consequences of scattering responsibilities for commissioning of different kinds of health care, public health and social care across nearly 400 separate organisations in the NHS, local government and NHS England.

It called for a single ringfenced local budget and one local commissioner, a conclusion that has attracted wide support. But given that the Lansley reforms have made the NHS completely allergic to any kind of structural change, how to make that happen without another reorganisation?

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