Better Care Fund
The Better Care Fund (BCF) brings together money from a number of health and social care budgets in order to find better ways of delivering health and care services, and make a person’s health pathway easier to navigate. It is a crucial part of delivering the aims of the Care Act, and should be focussed on the prevention agenda. Briefing from Care & Repair England
There is a complex governance system in administering the BCF, including Health and Wellbeing Boards, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), local authorities and the voluntary sector. The money is held by the local welfare authority (social care) and will be spent in accordance with local Health and Wellbeing plans. These plans are developed by Health and Wellbeing Boards, with input from CCGs and local authorities, and have to be signed off by ministers and NHS England. The plan for your area will show the priorities for spending for the next five years, and the makeup of your Health and Wellbeing Board. A link to them can usually be found on your local council website.
The pooled budget must be used to support adult social care services that have a health benefit. Spending plans must work towards 7 day a week services and reduced admissions at weekends, better data sharing between health and social care and ensuring a joint approach to assessment, and must agree on the consequential impact on the acute sector. Part of the fund is also being paid as a performance related measure for reducing admissions into emergency services.
These outcomes will be measured nationally through:
- Numbers of people admitted to residential and care homes;
- Effectiveness of reablement;
- Delayed transfers of care (‘bed-blocking’);
- Avoidable emergency admissions; and
- Patient / service user experience.
BCF implementation 2016/17
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (formerly DCLG) have published a policy framework for the implementation of the Better Care Fund in 2016/17.
It covers such issues as:
- the legal and financial basis of the fund
- conditions of access to the fund
- national performance metrics
- the assurance and approval process
Download the guidance
BCF allocations 2016/17
In 2016-17, the Better Care Fund will be increased to a mandated minimum of £3.9 billion to be deployed locally on health and social care through pooled budget arrangements between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Part of the fund is the £394 million allocation for the Disabled Facilities Grant, which is paid directly from the Government to local authorities.
BCF and DFG allocations 2016/17