The King's Fund comment on the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on integrated care

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Commenting on the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems, Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘This report nails the myth that the health service is on a path to privatisation and provides cross-party support for a vision of an NHS based on collaboration, not competition. 

‘We know from our work that new ways of providing integrated care are beginning to make progress in improving services for patients. The challenge now is to accelerate the pace of change so we welcome the recommendation for a new strategy to transform services – as the report makes clear, this must be backed by dedicated funding and a clear and compelling case for change to engage patients and the public.

‘Changes to the law will be needed to overcome the shortcomings of the current legal framework, so the recommendation to establish an advisory group to work up proposals for new legislation is very welcome. This process should be led by local health and care leaders and avoid another damaging top-down reorganisation of the NHS.

‘As the report makes clear, integrated care has the potential to significantly improve services for patients but is no substitute for adequate funding and sufficient staff. It is essential that the long-term funding settlement promised by the government delivers the 4 per cent annual increases needed by the NHS, or patients and families will pay the price as the service declines.’ 

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and 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 health and care is available to all.