Merging health and social care budgets 'is a fallacy'

Merging health and social care budgets 'is a fallacy'

Simply sharing funding between health and social care will not improve care or solve current issues, a policy advisor has warned shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

Addressing the King's Fund think tank last week (January 24th), Mr Burnham suggested merging the budgets for health and social care - a move which would see control of billions of pounds pass from the NHS to local government.

However, Richard Vize wrote in the Guardian that "although there is much to recommend" about the policy Labour has dubbed "whole person care", it would not solve the immediate problems of integration between the two sectors.

"It is a fallacy to suggest that shared funding will have much impact on integration. Integrating the cash does not integrate the service," he stated.

Mr Vize notes that Mr Burnham's plan will "relegate clinicians to the back benches of commissioning" and insists the culture within the health and social care sector needs to change if the two are ever to operate under one budget.

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