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 Integration and Better Care Fund Planning Requirements 2017-19

NHS England, the DH and DCLG have published the 2017-19 Integration and BCF planning requirements.

The document sets out the detailed requirements for plans, based on the 2017-2019 Integration and BCF policy framework published by the DH and DCLG on 31 March 2017.

The deadline for submitting final BCF plans is 11 September 2017. Assurance will be carried out over one round only for 2017-2019 so plans should be agreed by the local Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB).

To help local areas develop their Better Care Fund plan, please refer to this frequently asked questions document or contact your local Better Care Manager. The contact details for your Better Care Manager are available below.

BCF Planning Template 2017-19

The BCF planning and narrative templates were sent to leads in HWB areas. These should be completed in line with the planning requirements, and submitted by Monday 11 September 2017 to england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net.

Though use of the narrative template is not compulsory, local planners are advised to use the headings in the narrative template to ensure that their plan covers all the planning requirements, and review their plan against the Key Lines of Enquiry.

CCG minimum BCF allocations 2017-19

The planning requirements document is also accompanied by a spreadsheet which contains the minimum allocations for the BCF from CCGs for 2017/19. These allocations will be pre-populated in the BCF 2017/19 planning template.

Government Action on delayed discharges from hospital

The Government has published a Written Ministerial Statement setting out the measures that it is putting in place to address delayed discharges from hospital in advance of this winter.

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.

Indicative metrics for reducing delayed discharges from hospital

The Government has published ambitions for reducing delayed transfers of care (DToCs) for each HWB in England, with expected reductions in both social care delays and NHS delays, based on local circumstances.

In light of the Government’s emphasis on managing transfers of care and DToCs, all areas must submit their indicative metrics for reducing DToCs (including ambitions for reductions in both social care attributable and NHS attributable delays).

The BCST will circulate an additional template to facilitate capturing these provisional metrics until the end of 2017. These metric plans should reflect the expected DToC reductions set out in the performance dashboard. This template will be circulated to local areas later this week (w/c 3 July 2017), and the deadline for receiving the returns is 21 July.

Better Care Exchange

We have re-launched the Better Care Exchange (BCE) on an improved platform and anticipate the exchange as the primary mechanism for sharing and communication on the BCF. To request access to the BCE, please email england.bettercareexchange@nhs.net.

Better Care Fund planning 2017-18

Better Care Fund policy framework

The DH and the DCLG published a detailed policy framework for the implementation of the BCF in 2017-19.

Better Care Fund planning requirements

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 janehannon@nhs.net
London All boroughs Nicole Valenzuela-Sotomayor nicole.valenzuela-sotomayor1@nhs.net
North North East Jayne Robson jayne.robson1@nhs.net
North North West Justine Howe justinehowe@nhs.net
North Yorkshire & Humber Jenny Sleight jenny.Sleight@nhs.net
South South Central Kevin Johnson kevin.johnson@nhs.net
South South (Wessex) Judith May judithmay@nhs.net
South South East Mary Hill mary.hill11@nhs.net
South South West (North) Ian Phillips ian.phillips1@nhs.net
South South West (South) Johnathan Brook jbrook@nhs.net
Midlands and East East Midlands Wendy Hoult wendy.hoult@nhs.net
Midlands and East West Midlands Steve Corton steve.corton@nhs.net
Midlands and East East Jonathan Matthews / Chilala Chitava jonathan.matthews2@nhs.net chilala.chitava@nhs.net

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: england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net