Today, the final report of the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England is published. The Commission, set up by The King’s Fund think tank, contains a series of recommendations aimed at reforming how care is funded and provided, in order to better meet growing future demand for health and social care services.
Commenting on the report, Antonia Bunnin, Director of Hospice Support and Development at national hospice care charity Help the Hospices, said:
"Social care is hugely important to terminally ill people and their families, so we welcome the report’s recommendation that people approaching the end of life should be one of the main beneficiaries of free social care. However, we would like to see this extended to everyone at the end of life, not only those with critical needs.
"Currently, terminally ill people and their families battle to access social care, in what is often a frustrating and protracted process. Providing free social care, coupled with the fast-tracking of needs assessments could transform the way care is provided at the end of life, helping integrate health and social care to meet a person’s needs in a timely, more coordinated way.
"As well as improving support for terminally ill people, better access to social care should have the added benefit of significantly reducing the number of hospital admissions and generating significant cost savings for the NHS."