People with social care needs also have healthcare needs; good social care can prevent ill health and speed up hospital discharge. The health and social care sectors need to work closely to provide people with joined-up, efficient care. However, the sectors differ markedly in their structure, funding and culture. The NHS commissions and provides healthcare services that are largely free at the point of use. Local authorities commission social care from a range of mainly private providers. Social care services are means-tested, with many people funding some or all of their care. The NHS and social care operate under different legislation, and therefore different financial decision-making and accountability regimes. The Department of Health and Social Care (the Department) is responsible for policy relating to health and adult social care in England, while the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (Ministry) is responsible for the local government finance and accountability systems. The accountability for the NHS at a national level lies with NHS England and the Department.
Published: 19 October 2018