Better Care Fund support offer

About the Support Programme

Through its national support programme, the BCF is committed to ensuring that local areas have the right support available to them as they work towards improving integration between health, housing and social care services.

Following the completion of a recent tender exercise we have moved to a two year funding arrangement, with the providers LGA, ADASS and Newton, that will increase the range of discharge and non-discharge related support available to local systems through an expanded BCF support programme.

Ensuring systems have support

Support can be targeted towards a range of system priorities, such as:

  • supporting the implementation of discharge to assess and tackling inconsistent application, performance issues and immediate pressures in delayed discharges
  • reducing pressure on urgent and emergency care and acute services.
  • improving capability and capacity to undertake effective capacity and demand planning and modelling for intermediate care.
  • accelerating implementation of integration and BCF ambitions and programmes
  • reshaping pathways and community capacity to meet the changing demand from Home First and/or  NHS Long Term Plan aims
  • strengthening system leadership and collaborative culture, including developing integrated care systems and place-based partnerships
  • developing workforce capacity, skills and a collaborative, multi-disciplinary culture across health and care jointly
  • implementing system-wide recovery plans.

How is the support identified and delivered?

The support work is led and delivered by senior leaders and experts with extensive experience leading and shaping health and care systems, supported by other peers in a range of disciplines depending on the needs of the local system.

Systems will be encouraged to take up discharge support (particularly those systems experiencing significant challenges around discharge) and work with their regional Better Care Manager to identify where systems could benefit from a broader range of non-discharge related support.

These support requests are co-developed with the local system with the aim of encouraging regional ownership of support and can be adapted from a single council footprint to larger integrated care system or whole region.

Types of support

Deliverables include a combination of interventions and targeted outputs designed to support local systems in bringing about change and improving person-centred integrated services for example, local/regional workshops, webinars, peer reviews and action learning sets with outputs including diagnostic reports, deep dive analysis reports, project and programme plans and integration-focused action plans including key recommendations.

An innovative aspect of the support offer is the introduction of follow-up implementation support delivered after the core ‘support phase’ has completed. These ‘check-ins’ are co-designed with the local system and aimed at supportively reinforcing positive behaviours and optimising local system ownership of change by taking a strengths-based approach and embedding high impact interventions.

If you have any queries about the BCF Support Programme, please contact your Better Care Manager and/or get in touch with the national Better Care Fund team on

Section 75 agreement

Section 75 of the NHS Act 2006 allows partners (NHS bodies and councils) to contribute to a common fund which can be used to commission health or social care related services. This power allows a local authority to commission health services and NHS commissioners to commission social care. It enables joint commissioning and commissioning of integrated services.

The BCF team produced support materials on section 75 agreements which are a core requirement for the BCF. Bevan Brittan prepared a template Section 75 agreement with an explanatory note. This will need to be adjusted to reflect the local situation but gives a solid place to start.

You can view or download the documents here: