Uncertainty surrounds the proposed merger of the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which was expected to be announced next week.

Uncertainty surrounds the proposed merger of the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which was expected to be announced next week.

Last week Channel 4 Newsreported that legislation paving the way for merger would not feature in the Queen's Speech when she opens Parliament on Wednesday.

'This is pure speculation at the moment and we do not know and won't be told until the time of the opening [of Parliament],' a Healthcare Commission spokeswoman said.

Whatever emerges from the Queen's Speech, schools inspector Ofsted has confirmed that it will absorb CSCI's children's social care inspection duties, such as children's homes, from April.