The Queen’s Speech confirmed there will be a commission reporting within a year on the funding of long term social care.
A document published by Number 10 accompanying the speech said “urgent reform of the social care system is needed to ease the cost burden that they [recipients] and their families face.”
It said the government would “ensure there was a fair partnership between the state and the individual” on funding.
The strongest indicator of the role health bodies will play in the paper was the commitment to make sure “preventative support is given to people when they most need it, such as after discharge from hospital with health and social care working together to help people stay independent at home.”
Social care falls under the remit of the new Liberal Democrat health minister Paul Burstow, a long-time advocate of reform in the sector.
Councils already have a duty to provide a personalised budget for anyone in need of social care and the document said it would “take steps to accelerate the pace of reform”.
The King’s Fund last week welcomed news of a commission and urged the government to have legislation ready for the 2011 Queen’s Speech.
The think-tank welcomed the inclusion of the partnership model in the commission as an alternative to the voluntary contribution and compulsory levy funding methods.