Intended for healthcare professionals


Independent commission will look at split between health and social care in England

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 19 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3973
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

An independent commission to consider the future of health and social care in England has been set up by the health think tank the King’s Fund, which aims to publish the findings in time for the 2015 general election.

It will be chaired by Kate Barker, an economist best known for a review published by the Treasury in 2004 that called for a massive increase in house building in England. Although supported by the fund and launched at its London headquarters, Barker’s commission is free to reach any conclusion it finds most persuasive. It would, however, be a surprise if it disagreed with the fund’s often expressed belief that the two systems of healthcare and social care—one free to all, the other means tested—need closer integration and a common purpose.

Chris Ham, the fund’s chief executive, said, “The NHS and social care system have remained separate since their inception in 1948. Sixty …

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