A new report by a panel of leading experts has set out plans for securing the future of health and social care. It recommends a 'single ring-fenced tax' to replace National Insurance and that the costs of adult social care should be capped.
Health and Social Care: Delivering a Secure Funding Future is the report from an eminent panel of health and social care experts including Sir Stephen Bubb, Former Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, Sir David Nicholson, Former Chief Executive of NHS England and Professor Clare Gerada, Former Chair Royal College of General Practitioners.
The panel was brought together by the Liberal Democrats to explore how to deliver a new funding settlement for the long-term sustainability of our health and care system.
- A real-terms rise in NHS funding in England of at least £4bn in 2018-19.
- Increases in council tax won't put health and social care on a sustainable financial footing in the long-term.
- Health and social care funding should come together in a 'single ring-fenced tax which would replace National insurance'.
- Additional funding for the NHS and social care should be ring-fenced as an investment in out of hospital care, at least for the next three years.
- Introduce incentives to encourage people to save for adult social care costs.
- Reinstate the commitment to cap adult social care costs.
In the conclusion to the report on securing the future of health and social care, the panel states, 'We are unanimously of the opinion that it is necessary to raise additional revenue for health and care through taxation...We are also clear that the use of social care precepts added to council tax is neither an adequate way to resolve the funding crisis (in terms of the low amount of revenue raised) nor the fairest (in terms of where the burden of costs fall, and the unequal distribution of revenue raised).
'Instead, we think that bringing together health and care budgets to increase transparency of the costs associated with these services; combined with a measured and progressive tax increase to address the blackhole in funding represent the best solution in the immediate term.'