“This is a helpful and thoughtful report much of which echoes what local government has long been saying about the need for integrated health and social care and the urgent need to bring more money into the system.
“Local government leaders have already highlighted the need for a five-year, fully-funded transformation programme to enable the full integration of the commissioning of adult social care and health. This will help to ensure that we have a care and health system that is sustainable, keeps people out of hospital and supports them in their homes for as long as possible.
“The recommendation to introduce a single, local commissioner would do away with some of the unhelpful distinctions between social care and the NHS, allowing councils to be more flexible around the individual needs of people. The report’s suggestion that the single commissioner could be Health and Wellbeing Boards is a positive step and something that the LGA has called for in its ‘100 days’ campaign. We now need to have a sensible and open debate about the proposals in the report to bring in more money and the implications for health and care, including how the system is funded.
“We look forward to building on the recommendations in the report and working with the NHS to focus on preventative work that will enable us to protect the future of health and social care.”
“Back in May, the 2015 Challenge Declaration set out the main challenges facing our health and care system. This Commission, led by Dame Kate Barker, has outlined in absolute clarity how we might move to solve some of these challenges and 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.
“While we might not agree with all the recommendations it puts forwards, we welcome its contribution to that debate. We know the impact funding and demographic pressures have on health and social care, and this report highlights the funding gap that is likely to exist in both budgets in the future.
“There does, however, appear to be a political vacuum on many of these issues. The task for politicians now is to address the real financial challenges facing the health and care system and establish a vision for how they want services to be funded. The NHS as ever is committed to ensuring care is delivered. The 2015 Challenge process will continue to contribute to this debate and the NHS Confederation will be the voice of NHS leadership as we look to develop a positive future for the health and care system.”