Policy and planning

Better Care Fund planning requirements for 2023-25

The policy framework and planning requirements for the Better Care Fund (BCF) in 2023-25 have been published.

The policy framework is published by government and can be found on the gov.uk website. Planning requirements are available on the NHS England website and set out details of the requirements that BCF plans must meet.

The planning requirements apply to both integrated care boards (ICBs) and local authorities, and they are being published jointly with the Government. The BCF planning template and other supporting materials are available on the Better Care Exchange. To join the Better Care Exchange please email england.bettercareexchange@nhs.net.

Better Care Fund planning requirements and NHS minimum allocations

Allocations from ICBs to BCF plans for 2023-25 have been published.

The BCF allocations spreadsheet confirms allocations from ICBs to individual Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs). The contribution to each HWB has increased by 5.66%. Minimum allocations that must be pooled by each ICB into the BCF can be found here.

The allocations are set by NHS England and must be pooled into a section 75 agreement alongside grants paid to local government.

Additional discharge funding

The Government is providing £600 million (£300 million for ICBs, £300 million for local councils) to enable local areas to build additional adult social care (ASC) and community-based reablement capacity to reduce delayed discharges and improve outcomes for patients. As in 2022-23 the ICB will agree with relevant local Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) how the ICB element of funding will be allocated rather than being set as part of overall BCF allocations, and this should be based on allocations proportionate to local area need.

As part of the BCF plan, local areas will be required to set out how they intend to deploy the additional discharge funding, and submit fortnightly reports throughout the year, setting out – among other information – the additional services commissioned with the funding and the numbers of patients receiving short-term support following discharge. Detailed reporting requirements and templates will be published as soon as possible.