The King’s Fund responds to the Spring Budget

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Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: ‘The additional money announced today is welcome recognition of the huge pressures facing social care. It will provide some short-term relief for older and disabled people, families and carers who are being let down by the current system.

‘The plan to publish a Green Paper on the future of social care funding is encouraging, but we have been here before. This time, the government must break the mould and deliver the radical reforms that are so badly needed.

‘A starting point for this should be the work of the Barker Commission, which recommends a new settlement for health and social care and a single budget to put them both on a sustainable footing for the future. This will need to be funded by reforms to existing benefits paid to older people, increases in national insurance and changes to taxation.

‘Our recent report highlighted the lack of capital funding as a significant barrier to the success of sustainability and transformation plans so on the face of it the decision to make money available to invest in the most promising plans is a step in the right direction.

‘This winter the NHS has been buckling under the strain of meeting rising demand for services and maintaining standards of care. The Chancellor must address this in his autumn Budget or be honest with the public about the standards of care they can expect with the funding the NHS has been given.’

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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.