Labour ‘missed chance to close chasm between social care and health’

The government should have done more to bridge the health and social care divide during the recent period of investment in the NHS, a Conservative peer said yesterday.

In a House of Lords debate  on health and social care, Baroness Gardner of Parkes said this would have helped tackle the NHS funding crisis, which has resulted in cost-shunting to social services.

Parkes, joint chair of the all-party parliamentary group on primary care and public health, said this would continue until the divide was eliminated between tax-funded health care and charged-for and means-tested social care.

She also suggested that the importance of social care would be better recognised if the Department of Health had the term in its title.

Her all-party group, and its equivalent on social care, published a report last year calling for significant rises in social care investment in the comprehensive spending review and an inquiry into the impact of home care charges.

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