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Social Care - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:23 pm on 7th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 2:23 pm, 7th December 2017

I think that everyone in this House endorses the idea that health and social care should be better integrated. That statement is easy to make but difficult to achieve, as I think we would all agree, not least because the funding bases are very different. The NHS is taxpayer funded and free at the point of use; social care is funded on a different basis. That is one of the factors, as well as the bodies responsible for commissioning and so on. A practical way forward is to seek integration at a local level. That is happening now, for example, in Greater Manchester, which has powers over both services and is looking to integrate, and it lies at the heart of NHS England’s five-year forward view, which is about bringing services together in 44 areas, known as STP areas, to provide that level of integration. Patients do not want to have to flit through different bodies all the time. They want a sense that there is one service looking after them throughout their needs.