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, 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 Long Term Plan.

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 2019-20, £6.4 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.

Better Care Fund planning 2020-21

The Better Care Fund Policy Statement

This document confirms how local authorities and clinical commissioning groups should proceed with finalising plans and pooling agreements for funding under the Better Care Fund (BCF) in 2020 to 2021, and sets out the national conditions for the Fund.

BCF plans are jointly developed by health and social care partners in every area in England and support integrated, person centred care in communities.

CCG minimum BCF allocations 2020-21

The minimum allocations for the BCF from CCGs for 2020-21 were published ahead of the BCF Policy Statement for 2020-21. Allocations from both the CCG minimum and improved Better Care Fund are now available and will support local planning for the use of the BCF to take place alongside the main NHS operational planning round and local authority budget setting.

Support offer

The Better Care Fund team (formerly known as 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 BCF plans in 2019-20. As with previous years, the Better Care Fund team (BCFT) provides a range of support, some of it will be centrally led by the national team, while other parts of the programme will be externally commissioned.

Centrally-led support

In 2019-20 the central support offer includes a series of events throughout the year as well as regional funding, which ensure local areas will be supported by their regional Better Care Manager (BCM) in the form of support events and products.

In addition, local and national networking is encouraged via the Better Care Exchange – part of the futureNHS collaboration platform – which provides local systems with practical support in the form of local practice examples, videos, guides and discussion forums.

If you are involved in the development and/or implementation of BCF plans and wider integration, please email England.bettercareexchange@nhs.net to request access and outline your role in relation to the BCF programme.

Externally commissioned support

The BCFT has commissioned the Local Government Association (LGA) to deliver a series of system-level interventions designed to improve integration journeys locally.

These interventions will provide local areas with an opportunity to receive external support from the LGA on behalf of BCFT and its partners.

In addition to commissioning support during the BCF planning and assurance period, the BCFT have also commissioned a wider support programme for the remainder of 2019-20. The deliverables within this programme are made up of historic interventions such as Peer Reviews and consultancy support that have proved successful to local systems, as well as a range of bespoke and intensive options designed to support systems in meeting their aims and ambitions for integrated care as set out in their 2019-20 BCF plans.

If your area is interested in accessing this support, please contact your Better Care Manager (BCM) or england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net.

The Integration and Better Care Fund Bulletin

This 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 england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net.

Regional support

Better Care Managers (BCMs) have been recruited and hosted in each of the seven NHS regions to provide support to local areas, work with stakeholders and partners as well as gathering learning and coordinating support. Regions can commission bespoke packages of support to respond to regionally and locally 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 also available.

Region Area(s) Better Care Manager Email
Greater London All boroughs Andre Lotz andre.lotz@nhs.net
Greater London All boroughs Nicole Valenzuela-Sotomayor nicole.valenzuela-sotomayor1@nhs.net
North East North East Jayne Robson jayne.robson1@nhs.net
North West North West Ruth Proudlove ruth.proudlove@nhs.net
Yorkshire and Humber Yorkshire and Humber Jenny Sleight jenny.Sleight@nhs.net
South West South West (North) Becky Drew rebecca.drew@nhs.net
South West South West (South) Vacant
South East South East Natalie Jones
Bisi Soledolu
natalie.jones2@nhs.net
b.soledolu@nhs.net
East Midlands East Midlands Wendy Hoult wendy.hoult@nhs.net
West Midlands West Midlands Sarah Mahoney sarah.mahoney6@nhs.net
East of England East Rachel Fox rachel.fox13@nhs.net

Plans summary and quarterly reporting

The below files include planning and quarterly reporting data for the Better Care Fund*:

*Please note there was no quarterly reporting required for Q1 17/18

Contact us

If you have any questions about the BCF please email us at england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net