Nuffield Trust responds to Queen's Speech 2013

Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE comments in response to the announcements on health and social care reform set out in today's Queen's Speech.

Press release

Published: 08/05/2013

Commenting in response to the announcements on health and social care reform set out in today's Queen's SpeechNuffield Trust Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE said:

'The Government's commitment to reform funding for social care based on the principles laid out by the Dilnot Commission is a landmark on the path to a fairer system.

'After twenty years of stalling on this issue from all parties, today's announcement is a welcome recognition that we cannot continue placing so much of the burden of payment on the unlucky few facing catastrophically high costs.

'But this step alone will not solve the serious challenges of funding social care – the broader gap between the funds available for social care and growing demand still needs to be addressed.

More detailed scrutiny of quality will be crucial as the budget for the NHS becomes much tighter in the next few years
Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE

'Similarly, the commitment to new and straightforward rights for carers to receive support from local authorities is an important recognition of the vital contribution they make. However, the £150 million allocated to fund this is unlikely to be enough to cover the costs of this policy, given the intense and growing pressure on local authority social care budgets.

'Our review for the Secretary of State set out how policy-makers could develop a system of rating health and social care providers for quality in a way which gives an accurate picture to patients, and helps professionals to drive up standards.

'The new chief inspectors of hospitals, primary and social care must clearly be involved in this process, and help to encourage providers, particularly hospitals, to collect much more detailed information on the quality of care.

'More detailed scrutiny of quality will be crucial as the budget for the NHS becomes much tighter in the next few years.'

Notes to editors

In November 2012, Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, commissioned Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE and the Nuffield Trust to consider the introduction of ratings for providers of health and social care. Our final report: Rating providers for quality: a policy worth pursuing?, was presented to the Secretary of State on 22 March 2013.