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, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Local Government Association. 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 2017 – 19
Better Care Fund policy framework
The DHSC and the MHCLG published the 2017-19 Integration and BCF policy framework for the implementation of the BCF in 2017-19 in March 2017.
Better Care Fund planning requirements
NHS England, the DHSC and MHCLG published the Integration and BCF planning requirements for 2017-19 in July 2017, which sets out the detailed requirements for plans based on the 2017-19 Integration and BCF policy framework.
Better Care Fund Operating Guidance For 2017-19
NHS England, the Department for Health and Social Care and Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government have published Operating Guidance for Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWB). This confirms arrangements for operation of agreed Better Care Fund Plans, including refreshing 2018-19 plans and updating metrics. Revised expectations for each HWB for reducing Delayed Transfers of Care are being circulated. This guidance replaces the 2016-17 BCF operating guidance.
This guidance should be read in conjunction with the BCF Planning Requirements for 2017-19, which were published in July 2017.
CCG minimum BCF allocations 2017-19
The planning requirements were accompanied by the minimum allocations for the BCF from CCGs for 2017/19.
Government Action on delayed discharges from hospital
In July 2017, the Government published a written ministerial statement setting out the measures that it is putting in place to address delayed discharges from hospital in advance of winter 2017/18. These measures include a dashboard that reflects how local areas across England are progressing in their work to improve the interface between health and social care.
The Better Care Support team (BCST) is committed to ensuring that local areas have the relevant support available to them, as they work towards delivering their BCF plans in 2017-19 and beyond.
The Better Care support offer for 2017-19 is delivered through two streams; the centrally-led national support programme and the regionally-led support offer.
- Better care advisers
- Multi-disciplinary consultancy support
- National thematic workshops
- Regional networking
- Integrated Care Learning and Development programme
- Programme of case studies, guidance and resources
- The Better Care Exchange online collaboration platform.
The Better Care Exchange is designed for those responsible for the development and implementation of BCF plans and wider integration. To request access please email England.email@example.com outlining your role.
The Integration and Better Care Fund Bulletin
This weekly bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter for those responsible for the development and implementation of BCF plans and wider integration. To subscribe to this bulletin, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better Care Managers (BCMs) 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.
Regions, names and contact details are outlined below. A more detailed list of areas managed by the BCMs is available.
|Region||Area(s)||Better Care Manager|
|London||All boroughs||Andre Lotzemail@example.com|
|London||All boroughs||Nicole Valenzuela-Sotomayorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|North||North East||Jayne Robsonemail@example.com|
|North||North West||Justine Howefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|North||Yorkshire & Humber||Jenny Sleight||jenny.Sleight@nhs.net|
|South West||South West (Lead)||Liane Jenningsemail@example.com|
|South West||South West (East)||Kevin Johnsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|South West||South West (West)||Johnathan Brookemail@example.com|
|South East||South East (Lead)||Ali Youngfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|South East||South East (East)||Joy Churcheremail@example.com|
|South East||South East (West)||Natalie Jones||Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Midlands and East||East Midlands||Wendy Houltemail@example.com|
|Midlands and East||West Midlands||Steve Cortonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Midlands and East||East||Chilala Chitavaemail@example.com|
Plans Summary and Quarterly Reporting
The below files include planning and quarterly reporting data for the Better Care Fund*:
- Q4 17-18 Quarterly Reporting
- Q3 17-18 Quarterly Reporting
- Q2 17-18 Quarterly Reporting
- 17-19 Plans summary
- 16-17 Quarterly Reporting
- 16-17 Plans summary
- 15-16 Quarterly Reporting
- Q3 15-16 Quarterly Reporting
- Q2 15-16 Quarterly Reporting
- Q1 15-16 Quarterly Reporting
- Q4 14-15 Quarterly Reporting
*Please note there was no quarterly reporting required for Q1 17/18
If you have any questions about the BCF please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org