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.
COVID-19 Discharge Services Requirements guidance webinar video
Watch the webinar that took place on 20 March 2020.
Following the publication of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hospital Discharge Service Requirements guidance document, work has been undertaken to consider how best to support local systems to ensure safe and rapid discharge in the coming weeks.
As such colleagues from across the health and social care system that work in discharge (operationally and at a leadership level) are strongly encouraged to watch the webinar which was held recently covering the new processes in the guidance. The hospital discharge service requirements provide actions that must be taken immediately to enhance discharge arrangements and the provision of community support.
The presentation slides and video for this webinar are also available on the Better Care Exchange.
The Better Care Exchange is a closed collaboration platform, if you are not a member and would like to join, please email email@example.com.
Better Care Fund planning 2020-21
Better Care Fund Policy Framework and Planning Requirements 2020-21
The 2020-21 Better Care Fund (BCF) Policy Framework will be published in due course but, with systems needing to focus effort into dealing with the current level 4 incident caused by COVID-19, we will not be asking systems to produce BCF plans at this time. Allocations for the CCG minimum contribution and the improved Better Care Fund have been made public and systems will have been jointly planning their work to integrate health and care for the next financial year.
Although BCF plans from April 2020 will not have been formally approved, for the duration of the current outbreak of COVID-19, systems should assume that spending from ringfenced BCF funds, particularly on existing schemes from 2019-20 and spending on activity to address demands in community health and social care, is approved and should prioritise continuity of care, maintaining social care services and system resilience.
CCG minimum BCF allocations 2020-21
The minimum allocations for the BCF from CCGs for 2020-21 have been published ahead of the BCF Planning Requirements 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.
Better Care Fund planning 2019-20
Better Care Fund policy framework
The DHSC and the MHCLG published the 2019-20 BCF Policy Framework for the implementation of the BCF in 2019-20 in April 2019.
Better Care Fund planning requirements
NHS England, the DHSC and MHCLG published the Integration and BCF planning requirements for 2019-20 in July 2019, which sets out the detailed requirements to local areas on developing and implementing BCF plans based on the 2019-20 Better Care Fund Policy Framework. This document also incorporates the BCF Operating Guidance.
CCG minimum BCF allocations 2019-20
The planning requirements were accompanied by the minimum allocations for the BCF from CCGs for 2019-20.
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.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 available.
|Region||Area(s)||Better Care Manager|
|London||All boroughs||Andre Lotzemail@example.com|
|London||All boroughs||Nicole Valenzuela-Sotomayorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|North East & Yorkshire||North East||Jayne Robsonemail@example.com|
|North East & Yorkshire||North West||Ruth Proudlovefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|North East & Yorkshire||Yorkshire & Humber||Jenny Sleight||jenny.Sleight@nhs.net|
|South West||South West (North)||Becky Drewemail@example.com|
|South West||South West (South)||Jonathan Brookfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|South East||South East||Natalie Jonesemail@example.com|
|Midlands||East Midlands||Wendy Houltfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Midlands||West Midlands||Steve Corton||Stephen.email@example.com|
|East of England||East||Rachel Foxfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Plans Summary and Quarterly Reporting
The below files include planning and quarterly reporting data for the Better Care Fund*:
- 2019-2020 plans summary
- Quarter 4 2018-2019 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 3 2018-2019 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 2 2018-2019 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 1 2018-2019 quarterly reporting
- 2018-2019 plans summary
- Quarter 4 2017-2018 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 3 2017-2018 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 2 2017-2018 quarterly reporting
- 2017-2019 plans summary
- 2016-2017 quarterly reporting
- 2016-2017 plans summary
- 2015-2016 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 3 2015-2016 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 2 2015-2016 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 1 2015-2016 quarterly reporting
- Quarter 4 2014-2015 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 email@example.com