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
- Letter from Andrew Ridley, BCF Programme Director (PDF, 96KB)
- Planning guidance (updated) (PDF, 161KB)
- Technical guidance (updated) (PDF, 541KB)
- Narrative template (part 1) (Word, 81KB)
- Funding and metrics template (part 2) (Excel, 923KB)
Better Care Fund resubmission process
- the relevant NHS England Area Team; and
- the relevant local government representative.
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- 17 October 2013: letter and draft guidance from Carolyn Downs (LGA Chief Executive) and Bill McCarthy (National Director: Policy, NHS England) (PDF, 9 pages, 360KB)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)
Support for completing the BCF plan
Making it Better
To help local areas achieve the excellent plans to which they aspire, we have developed a robust programme of support. This slide pack, titled 'Making it Better a guide to resources for improving Better Care Fund plans', 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. Over the coming weeks, as and when new resources are developed, we will add those into the Making it Better guide and highlight new content in this weekly bulletin.
Contact details for NHS regional and local area teams, and LG regional leads
The Making it Better guide provides details on how to access targeted and bespoke support. It will be necessary to go via 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.
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
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
15 August 2014