A report suggesting social care is to be merged with the NHS has been quashed by the government.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said there was “no foundation” to claims the NHS could take over social care to expand the health service budget to £150bn.
The Guardian claimed Baroness Camilla Cavendish had been contracted by the DHSC to develop the plans in order to honour Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to fix social care.
However, the DHSC said the government had no plans to merge social care with the NHS or put social care under the control of the NHS.
It added that Baroness Cavendish has been contracted to support the reform of the social care system with the DHSC.
The report of the merger was given a cool reception by care leaders and stakeholders.
Harry Quilter-Pinner, an associate director of the IPPR think-tank, said: “At its best, integrated care can overcome fragmentation and deliver better outcomes for older people. But policymakers have been talking about delivering integrated care for decades. The truth is it is hard to achieve and stripping local government of its responsibility for social care is a controversial way of going about it.
“It would decimate local government finances and without a significant uplift in spending and radical reform to the type of care delivered, there is no guarantee the NHS would be able to do a better job.”
Earlier this week, The Guardian reported the government was considering plans to tax the over 40s to pay for their social care as part of its plans for social care reform.
The Prime Minister has set a goal of laying out social care reforms this year, while conceding they could take five years to implement.