Professor Chris Ham, CEO of The King's Fund, comments on the coalition agreement proposals on social care

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'The establishment of a commission on long-term care, with a clear instruction to report within a year, is a positive signal that social care reform will be among the coalition government's priorities. We welcome the inclusion of the partnership model, which was recommended by a review set up by The King's Fund in 2006, among the funding options it will consider.

'It is now more than a decade since the Royal Commission established by the last government reported. The challenge for the new commission is to set out a comprehensive blueprint for reform that commands support across the political spectrum. The government must then map out a clear timetable for implementation, including legislation in the 2011 Queen's Speech. Politicians from all the parties talked before the election about the need for consensus on the way forward – whether or not this can be achieved will be a key test of whether all the parties are serious about this.

'The inclusion in the agreement of commitments to break down the barriers between health and social care and extend personal budgets signal welcome developments in policy.'

Notes to editors

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund media and public affairs office on 020 7307 2585. If you are calling out-of-hours, please ring 07584 146035. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King’s Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.