The King's Fund

Integrating health and social care

  • Format: Printed copy
  • Author(s): Natasha Curry, Richard Humphries
  • Publication date: 31-Mar-2011

The coalition government has made clear its commitment to the integration of health and social care in its proposals for reform. In the context of the intense financial and demographic challenges facing both health and social care, this paper offers a fresh assessment of the prospects for integrating health and social care and the opportunities and challenges arising from the government’s proposals.

In the autumn of 2010, The King’s Fund held two seminars, bringing together senior policy experts and NHS and social care leaders to discuss the barriers and aids to integration at national and local levels and the financial challenges facing all services.

This paper draws on the discussions that took place at both seminars which sought to consider the following questions:

  • Will the coalition government’s policies create conditions for the successful integration that has eluded the many previous initiatives?
  • What opportunities could GP-led commissioning offer to develop new approaches to integrated care?
  • How far will pressures on social care budgets – and the productivity challenge facing the NHS – hinder or help integration?
  • What policy changes or adjustments would be helpful in promoting closer working of the two services?