Lib Dems propose merger of health and social services

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The Independent Online
HEALTH and local authorities should be merged to provide a 'seamless service' of health and social care, the Liberal Democrats proposed yesterday in a paper which accepted, in modified form, large tracts of the Government's health service changes, writes Nicholas Timmins.

The so-called purchaser/provider split should be retained, though renamed as a 'health care commissioner/health care provider' divide, the Liberal Democrats said in a consultation paper. Competition should be based on quality, not price. The commissioning would be undertaken by merged health and social services departments, operating within democratically elected authorities. NHS trusts would be retained, with the proviso that 50 per cent of their non-executive members should live locally.

Health: Liberal Democrat Consultation Paper Number 15. pounds 1.45. Telephone orders 0305 264646.