The £3.8bn Better Care Fund (formerly the Integration Transformation Fund) was announced by the Government in the June 2013 spending round, to ensure a transformation in integrated health and social care. The Better Care Fund (BCF) is one of the most ambitious ever programmes across the NHS and Local Government. It creates a local single pooled budget to incentivise the NHS and local government to work more closely together around people, placing their well-being as the focus of health and care services.
The BCF is a critical part of the NHS 2 year operational plans and the 5 year strategic plans as well as local government planning.
There will be a series of webinars in early August to follow on from the updated guidance which was issued in July. Please visit the webinars page for further information.
Following submission of BCF Plans in April, updated guidance has now been issued. This replaces and supersedes the guidance that was issued in December 2013.
Please see the cover letter from Andrew Ridley, Better Care Fund Programme Director, setting out the main changes to the Better Care Fund Programme.
Please note that the Technical Guidance was revised on 18 August to update on the average cost for non-elective admissions, and to provide further worked examples on payment for performance in annex 1 – revised version below.
*UPDATE 18 AUGUST* Please note that a number of technical amendments have been made to the Part 2 plan template. The new template is available below, and any old versions should be discarded. A macro is also available for download for areas who have already started their Part 2 plans to avoid having to start again. A summary of what has changed is contained within the spreadsheet.
The statistical significance tool can be used by areas to aid in developing robust levels of ambition around their supporting BCF metrics. To note, for the ‘pay for performance’ metric (non-elective admissions) although there is an expectation that areas should meet a specific % improvement, areas are able to set their own levels of ambition and take account of local considerations. Issues of statistical significance can therefore still be an important consideration for areas.
Both parts of the plans are to be submitted by 12 noon on 19th September 2014. Please send as attachments to: firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to:
For information, the mapping of CCGs to HWBs, and HWBs to Area Team and Local Government Region contacts can be found here.
If there are any queries about the resubmission process, please contact email@example.com.
The methodology for the National Consistent Assurance Review is now available, so that areas are able to understand how their BCF plans will be assessed after they have been submitted on or before 19 September” (August 20th 2014)
Better care Atlas
A draft tool has been developed to enable you to benchmark your local area on metrics around Better Care. The Better Care Atlas include the core BCF metrics as well as some additional metrics that relate to more effective use of resources. We are particularly keen to hear your thoughts on this draft tool, as we have plans to modify and develop it into a more user friendly platform in the Autumn. Please let us have any thoughts or comments via the BCF mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that the indicators in the Better Care Atlas are crude rates and have not been standardised for age, sex or other unavoidable causes of variation. When comparing Local Authorities, users should consider whether some of the difference may be influenced by these factors rather than variation in performance.
Making it Better – A guide to resources for improving Better Care Fund plans
To help local areas achieve the excellent plans to which they aspire, we have developed a robust programme of support. This slide pack, entitled “Making it Better – A guide to resources for improving Better Care Fund plans” provides more detail 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 theis weekly BCF bulletin email from Andrew Ridley.
Update at 1 September – the Making it Better pack now includes links to the ‘How to’ Guide: The BCF Technical Toolkit. The ‘how to’ guide comprises an overview document and four chapters that provide advice and tips for completing the technical sections ofthe BCF planning templates. They were developed in response to questions and supportrequests from HWBBs developing their BCF submission, and are intended to complement the national and regional support offers including webinars and clinics.
Also included in the pack are links to some further support on risk sharing, following requests from local areas. This includes some additional background and suggestions for what to cover in the risk sharing elements of the template: this has been prepared by the BCF Task Force in consultation with NHS England, other health ALBs and professional bodies. As part of the wider support package, Bevan Brittan has also prepared a template S.75 agreement with an explanatory note. This will need to be adjusted to reflect the local situation, but gives a solid place to start.
Update at 8 September – Five fast-track areas submitted their BCF plans on 29 August and are going through the assurance process. The fast-track plans can be found here. As part of this work, case studies were developed to share with the wider system to help disseminate the learning. See here to view or download the case studies.
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 England regional team, cc’ing in your Area Team and local government regional lead. The email addresses you need can be found in this document.
If you have any queries around the Better Care Fund Plan, please post a question in the comments section below. However, before posting a question below, please check the BCF Frequently Asked Questions document (updated 29 August 2014) which also includes questions that have been raised in the webinars held to date.
BCF regional clinics
The Task Force are running some regional clinics to support BCF planning. Your regional contact will have been, or will be, in touch with teams across each HWB area to ensure representation at a clinic session. If you have not yet been in contacted, feel free to get in touch with the relevant contact for your region as set out below:
Please note that the information below is now out of date. However, as some of the material may still be useful, it is displayed below for reference.
NHS England, alongside the Local Government Association (LGA), published a series of joint letters to the NHS and local government, with details of the BCF and its requirements.