Taskforce to help integrate health and social care is scrapped

Limb, M. (2016) BMJ. 355:i5678

Prime Minister Theresa May has come under fire for scrapping the Health and Social Care Implementation Taskforce which was set up by her predecessor, David Cameron.

Jon Ashworth, shadow health secretary, said that the decision showed that May had “no interest in the long term sustainability of our NHS and social care system.” He told The BMJ, “Under the Tory government, the NHS has been engulfed in a funding and staffing crisis and the Care Quality Commission said last week that the social care system was on the verge of a ‘tipping point.’ Now is not the time to be scrapping attempts to integrate the two.”

The task force was made up of leading health, local government, and Treasury ministers and officials, and was chaired by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Formed in 2015, it was meant to take forward the strategy for an integrated health and social care system. A Cabinet Office spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday 19 October that the taskforce had ceased to exist, along with several similar bodies, to make way for “more efficient” ways of working. Its work would be incorporated into a new cabinet committee focused on wide ranging social reform, to be chaired by May, the spokesperson said.

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