Responses to the final report

This content relates to the following topics:

Part of Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England

The King’s Fund will use the analysis and recommendations from the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England to engage with stakeholders to explore the practicalities of implementation. Many organisations have responded to the final report, and we have collected some of them here.


For too long policymakers have failed to grasp this nettle and the result is the fragmented, underfunded health and care services we see today.

There is no 'do nothing' option, and there needs to be a national conversation on what action needs to happen.

The Commission is right not to pull its punches. The only long-term solution to the care crisis is an increase in funding, and – yes – as a country we can afford it.

It is vital that we now have an open and honest debate about the future of our social care and health systems and how we address the growing gulf between increasing care need and available funding.

Greater resources are necessary to provide vital services that keep people out of hospital and living independently at home.

Welcome the #barkercomm focus on integrating services which we have begun through the Better Care Fund but no to new taxes on working people.

The recommendations represent a logical and clear model of aligning funding arrangements with people’s needs and preferences.

The Barker Commission starts the process on care which is free at the point of need for those with critical needs but we really need to move beyond substantial to adequately funding people with moderate needs within the next parliament.

If social care is allowed to collapse, it will drag down the rest of the NHS.

This is a helpful and thoughtful report, much of which echoes what local government has long been saying.

What we need next is for the politicians to use this timely report as a catalyst to remove one of the single biggest barriers which prevent people… from accessing timely and appropriate care when they need it most.

We welcome the Barker Commission report today because it is the first step in seeing beyond the old divides between health, social care, and welfare and ensuring that we can deliver affordable care and support to people in need.

Many people are more interested in being able to access joined-up support than worrying about which budget it comes from - their needs are often urgent.

We welcome today’s very important and timely report and absolutely agree with the Commission that the way that health and social care are currently organised and funded creates confusion and a great deal of distress.

To those needing the NHS or social care, who commissions services is less important than seamless transition and responsive pathways. This is where we must focus.

This is a hook for the debate on how much we invest, where we put that investment and how we join health and social care together.

Kate Barker and The King’s Fund commission has today rightly described the need for more integrated health and social care for people who need care and their families.

It is now imperative that the forthcoming election campaign does not lead politicians to shy away from addressing the difficult moral issues and challenging solutions proposed by Kate Barker and her commissioners.

The proposal to make everyone pay a £2.50 prescription charge for each medicine merely extends this tax on health to everyone and heaps unfairness on top of illness.

It is vital that the Government listens to the Barker Commission and releases enough funds for local authorities to provide the right level of support for what is currently a chronically underfunded system.

We welcome the emphasis on better integrated working and recognise the importance of health and wellbeing boards working beyond organisational boundaries on broader prevention and wellbeing agendas.

Any change to institutional and funding arrangements must be to ensure better support and clearer pathways for individuals and families.