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Making best use of the Better Care Fund

Spending to save?

The need for integrated care to improve people’s experience of health and social care, the outcomes achieved and the efficient use of resources has never been greater.

The June 2013 Spending Round announced the creation of a £3.8 billion Integration Transformation Fund – now referred to as the Better Care Fund – described as ‘a single pooled budget for health and social care services to work more closely together in local areas, based on a plan agreed between the NHS and local authorities.

The Better Care Fund offers a real opportunity to address immediate pressures on services and lay foundations for a much more integrated system of health and care delivered at scale and pace. But it will create risks as well as opportunities. The £3.8 billion is not new or additional money and commissioners will have to make important decisions about how the grant is used.

Making best use of the Better Care Fund: spending to save? offers an evidence-based guide to aid the discussions between clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and health and wellbeing boards. It presents evidence from The King’s Fund and others in a number of different areas – for example, primary prevention; self-care; case management – and emphasises that this evidence must be interpreted and used with a sound understanding of the key local challenges and the underlying issues that need to be addressed.

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