An independent commission on the future of health and social care in England, commonly described as the “Barker commission”, has unveiled a radical plan for extending free at the point of need care into social services. Its report shuns the usual obsession with how to fund hospitals, instead focusing on the needs of patients with long-term conditions.
The Commission was heavily influenced by the emotionally charged evidence from its panel of service users and carers. Their distress, despair, sense of injustice and incomprehension at the unfairness of the current system drove the commission to look for a new approach, built around patient needs rather than the current arbitrary and irrational distinctions between health and social care.
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