Better Care Fund
The £3.8 billion Better Care Fund (BCF) was announced by the Government in the June 2013 Spending Round, to support transformation and integration of health and social care services to ensure local people receive better care. The BCF is a pooled budget that shifts resources into social care and community services for the benefit of the NHS and local government.
Following agreement by Ministers in June 2014, £1 billion of the NHS additional contribution to the BCF will now either be commissioned by the NHS on out of hospital services or be linked to a corresponding reduction in total emergency admissions. Protection of social care remains a top priority, and the revised plans must reflect this clear policy intention.
BCF plan guidance and templates: issued 25 July 2014
Revised guidance and templates were issues in July. A letter from the BCF Task Force programme director, Andrew Ridley, explaining the process and copies of the submission templates can be accessed here:
- Letter from Andrew Ridley, BCF Programme Director (PDF, 96KB)
- Narrative template (part 1) (Word, 81KB)
- Funding and metrics template (part 2) (Excel, 923KB)
The BCF Task Force has issued a range of guidance to support resubmission:
- Planning guidance (updated) (PDF, 161KB)
- Technical guidance (updated) (PDF, 541KB)
- Supplementary guidance on the expectation of a 3.5% reduction in emergency admissions (20 August 2014) (PDF, 96KB)
- Trends in non-elective admissions for every area (Excel, 849KB). The data in this spreadsheet are based on current trends and data submitted by CCGs through UNIFY (20 August 2014)
The task force has also issued the methodology that will be used to assess local plans:
Better Care Fund resubmission process
Both parts of the plans are to be submitted by 12pm on 19 September 2014. Please send as attachments to: email@example.com as well as to:
- the relevant NHS England Area Team
- the relevant local government representative.
If there are any queries about the resubmission process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for completing the BCF plan
Regional and national support (September 2014)
Risk stratification/ IG webinar:
- 3 Sept 14:00-15:30
This webinar will be run by Oleg Bestsennyy Associate Principal from McKinsey, and will set out approaches to risk stratification and the associated IG issues to improve your understanding of the baseline needs and priorities for integrated care in your area.
Financial analysis webinar:
- 4 Sept 1500-1630;
- 8 Sept 9-10:30
This webinar will be run by Oleg Bestsennyy Associate Principal from McKinsey, and will lay out the step-by-step methodology for financial modelling that will enable you to improve your analysis for the resubmission. There will be significant time for Q&A to ensure the content is as relevant and targeted as possible.
Section 75 and risk sharing webinar:
- 3 September 12-1.30pm
- 5 September 12-1.30pm
The webinars will be run by David Owen and Olwen Dutton, both Partners from Public Service Law Firm, Bevan Brittain. It will be particularly helpful to you if you are considering a new Section 75 agreement or amends to existing agreements to support your BCF plans, and what arrangements to include around managing financial risk across partners.
To join any of these webinars, please email Adrian.email@example.com who will send registration information and joining instructions.
Contact details for NHS regional and local area teams, and LG regional leads
To access targeted and bespoke support, contact your relevant NHS regional team, cc'ing in your Local Area Team and local government regional lead. The email addresses you need can be found in this document.
Making it Better
The BCF Task Force has developed a robust programme of support, including a slide pack, titled 'Making it Better a guide to resources for improving Better Care Fund plans'. This provides more details on what support will be available and how to go about accessing it. It also brings together a selection of resources that you can access immediately that will help you in developing a robust plan and roadmap for delivering integrated care. The slide pack is updated every week as and when new resources are developed.
How to guide: the BCF technical toolkit
The task force has also developed a ‘How to' guide. The guide comprises four documents which provide advice and tips for completing the technical sections of the template. These have been developed rapidly, and in direct response to requests it has received from areas in recent weeks. It is not formal guidance and will not guarantee plans are assured, but is intended to offer practical support that can be used to develop BCF plans and wider integrated care programmes. It should be read together with the assurance process methodology referred to above.
The toolkit covers four areas:
- population segmentation, risk stratification and information governance
- evidence-based planning
- outcomes and impact measurement
- financial analysis.
The BCF technical toolkit is available on the NHS England site.
Integrated care toolkit
This LGA toolkit can be used to support the development of a joint vision, through reference to the 'value case' work, as well as modelling reconfiguration across your health and care system using the modelling tool.
BCF and the Care Act
A short summary of the Care Act and its relationship with the Better Care Fund for those who are unfamiliar with it.
Other resources on the NHS England website
NHS England has provided a range of tools and support for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities, including:
- a Q&A
- information about BCF allocations
- BCF statististical significance calculator
About the BCF
The August 2013 Spending Review established the £3.8 billion BCF "to deliver better outcomes and greater efficiencies through more integrated services for older and disabled people."
The development and implementation of this policy has been articulated through the following communications:
- 11 July 2014: letter from Jon Rouse (Director-General, Department of Health) and Helen Edwards (Director-General, Department of Communities and Local Government) (PDF, 350KB)
- 11 July 2014: letter from Andrew Ridley on the new BCF joint programme team (PDF, 350KB)
- 20 December 2013: Ministerial letter from Brandon Lewis MP and Norman Lamb MP to councils
- 17 October 2013: letter and draft guidance from Carolyn Downs (LGA Chief Executive) and Bill McCarthy (National Director: Policy, NHS England) (PDF, 9 pages, 360KB)
- 10 October 2013: 'Planning for a sustainable NHS', letter from Sir David Nicholson (Chief Executive, NHS England) (PDF, 4 pages, 96KB)
- 8 August 2013: Statement on health and social care integration transformation fund, from Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive, LGA) and Sir David Nicholson (Chief Executive, NHS England) (PDF, 5 pages, 207KB)
The LGA and NHS England will continue to provide support to local areas to ensure all areas have a completed plan in place by February. If you have any questions please contact: Tom.Shakespeare@local.gov.uk
2 September 2014