Better Care Fund

The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a programme spanning both the NHS and local government which seeks to join-up health and care services, so that people can manage their own health and wellbeing, and live independently in their communities for as long as possible.

The BCF has been created to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, placing them at the centre of their care and support, and providing them integrated health and social care services, resulting in an improved experience and better quality of life.

A committed, cross-cutting partnership

The BCF represents a unique collaboration between NHS England, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health and the Local Government Association (LGA). The four partners work closely together to help local areas plan and implement integrated health and social care services across England, in line with the vision outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

One of the most ambitious programmes ever introduced across the NHS and local government, the BCF encourages integration by requiring CCGs and local authorities to enter into pooled budgets arrangements and agree an integrated spending plan. In 2016/17, £5.9 billion was pooled in the BCF.

Various initiatives are in place around the country. They are already starting to deliver real improvements in the integration of local health and social care systems, including information sharing, where appropriate.

Better Care Fund planning

The Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are finalising the Integration and BCF Policy Framework for the implementation of the Better Care Fund in 2017-18 and 2018-19.  The Planning Guidance will be published shortly afterwards.

Better Care Fund allocations 2016/17

Better Care Fund policy framework

The Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government published a detailed policy framework for the implementation of the Better Care Fund in 2016-17.

Better Care Fund planning requirements

The planning exercise for 2016-17 is now complete and preparations are underway to plan for subsequent years.  The planning requirements for 16-17 are outlined in Annex 4: Better Care Fund planning requirements for 2016-17 below.

Better Care operating guidance 2016-17

The Better Care Operating Guidance provides guidance to CCGs, local authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards for local BCF plans, and the operational requirements for these plans in 2016-17. This should be read alongside the policy framework and Better Care Fund planning requirements for 2016-17.

Regional assurance of BCF plans

The ‘Approach to regional assurance of Better Care Fund plans’ outlined the assurance process for 2016/17, key lines of enquiry, and sets out the minimum that a BCF plan should include, to support local government and NHS regional leads in the assurance of BCF plans.

Support offer

The Better Care Support team is committed to ensuring that local areas have the relevant support available to them, as they work towards delivering their Better Care Fund plans in 2016/17 and beyond.

The Better Care support offer for 2016/17 is delivered through two streams; the centrally-led national support programme and the regionally-led support offer.

Centrally-led support

  • Better Care Advisers
  • Multi-disciplinary Consultancy Support
  • Thematic Masterclasses
  • Regional Networking
  • Programme of case studies, guidance and insight bulletins

Regional support

Better Care Managers have been recruited in each region to gather learning and coordinate support to local areas. Regions can commission bespoke packages of support to respond to regionally identified needs, generate shared solutions at a regional level and tailor national resources and products to regional needs.

Regional Better Care Managers (BCMs)

Regions, names and contact details are outlined below. A more detailed list of areas managed by the better care managers is available.

Region Area(s) Better Care Manager Email
London All boroughs Jane Hannon
London All boroughs Nicole Valenzuela-Sotomayor
North North East Bernard Groen
North North West Justine Howe
North Yorkshire & Humber Jenny Sleight
South South West & South Central Liane Jennings
South South [Wessex] Judith May
South South East Mary Hill
South South Central Kevin Johnson
South South West (South) Johnathan Brook
Midlands and East West Midlands Steve Corton
Midlands and East East Midlands Wendy Hoult
Midlands and East East Jonathan Matthews

Quarterly Reporting

The Better Care Support team has published BCF data collection and performance reports for each quarter in 2015/16 (covering 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016) and quarter 4, 2014-15 (January – March 2015).

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Better Care Fund please email us at: