Responding to the government’s integration and social care white paper, Hugh Alderwick, Head of Policy at the Health Foundation, said:

‘The overall emphasis on promoting closer integration of health and care services is welcome – and fits with what the NHS and local authorities are already trying to do in different parts of the country. The white paper rightly acknowledges that no single approach will work everywhere in England. 

‘But it is vague on what the changes may mean in practice and risks overclaiming what integration can achieve. There is also a risk of confusion, given the NHS in England is already being reorganised through the Health and Care Bill currently being debated in Parliament. The relationship between these different changes is not always clear. 

‘The proposal for single leaders for health and social care in local ‘places’ sounds simple but may cause disruption and added layers of management – and the fundamental differences between how the NHS and social care systems work will remain intact. Making collaboration work in practice depends as much on culture, management, resources, and other factors as it does on changes to structures and lines of accountability. 

‘Better integration between services is no replacement for properly funding them. The social care system in England is on its knees and central government funding over the coming years is barely enough to meet growing demand for care – let alone expand and improve the system. 

‘More integration is also little good if there aren’t enough staff to deliver services. Staffing shortages in health and social care are chronic, yet government has no long-term plan to address them.’ 

Media contact

Liam Collins
020 7360 7501

Further reading

Newsletter blog

Up to the challenge?

25 November 2021
Newsletter blog

Hugh Alderwick provides an overview of the government’s plans for spending and reform across the NHS...


Health and Care Bill


Our analysis of the key proposals in the Health and Care Bill 2021/22.

You might also like...

Press release

Today’s NHS data should be a wake-up call to the next prime minister

Press release

Health Foundation response to the monthly NHS performance statistics.

Press release

Boris Johnson didn’t ‘fix social care’ - the next PM must

Press release

Response from the Health Foundation on the Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities Committee report...


Party conference schedule 2022


The Health Foundation will be holding multiple fringe events and partnering with other organisations...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

COVID-19 has brought disruption to health care systems around the world. Our analysis explores how services in the…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more