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Health department ‘mulling plans for English national care service'

The government is actively considering plans for an English national care service as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s forthcoming reform white paper, according to the Observer, citing Whitehall and Conservative party sources.

Health secretary Sajid Javid is said to be examining how an integrated service in which local authorities and the NHS take joint responsibility for social care – that would improve outcomes while freeing up NHS beds across England - could be delivered.

Javid is also understood to be considering  the introduction of national standards for care, and conditions for carers, the newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have been keen to announce plans for an integrated service last month when he unveiled plans to raise £12 billion a year through an increase in national insurance contributions. 

However, the Observer reported, Downing Street was undecided about how an integrated system would best work, and an announcement was postponed.

The Scottish government is currently consulting on proposals to introduce a national care service north of the border.  

The consultation by Holyrood is due to end next month. 

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