Call for inquiry into future of funding

A royal commission or “Wanless-type” inquiry should investigate
jointly funding health and social care, says social worker turned
Labour MP David Hinchliffe.

Hinchliffe, who chairs the House of Commons health select
committee, said the cost to the state of funding social care could
be offset by cutting the red tape involved in deciding whether the
NHS or social services pays. He warned that a legal challenge over
long-term care would eventually force the government to address the

“We have introduced a number of measures to improve working between
health and social care, but we are scratching round the edges and
not addressing the fundamental questions of the division of
responsibilities and budgets,” he said.

“You could not introduce charges in the NHS, and we would have
problems convincing the Treasury of the merits of removing charges
for social care. But if you look at the management time and money
devoted to boundary disputes, integrating the two could be cost

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