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 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.

Support offer

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.

Centrally-led support

  • 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.bettercareexchange@nhs.net 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 england.bettercaresupport@nhs.net.

Regional support

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.

Regional Better Care Managers (BCMs)

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 Email
London All boroughs Andre Lotz andre.lotz@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 Liane Jennings lianejennings@nhs.net
South South West (North) Kevin Johnson kevin.johnson@nhs.net
South South West (South) Johnathan Brook jbrook@nhs.net
South South East (HIOW, TV) Natalie Jones natalie.jones2@nhs.net
South South East (East) Joy Churcher j.churcher@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 Chilala Chitava chilala.chitava@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