Making best use of the Better Care Fund: Spending to save?

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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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More on the Better Care Fund


Pearl Baker

Independent Mental Health Advocate& Advisor/Carer,
Comment date
02 December 2015
I am currently looking into the 'Better Care Fund' and ask do you know what 'groups' are benefitting from this money? is there a 'Monitoring' system in place to ensure that there is no inequality between the different 'groups'? from the research I have done, one CCG said they are not able to identify what 'group' benefitted from these funds, which suggests there is probably great inequality.

If the 'Better Care Fund' is to make a difference it is important that careful 'Monitoring' takes place across the entire Country, to include an Annual Return to NHS England with a Breakdown of exactly how it was used, and how it benefited those 'groups' that received this funding.

The 'Better Care Fund' Annual Returns from (all) should be available on line for Public Viewing.

I have viewed the previous comment and suggest that my idea for Annual Returns including 'breakdowns' on 'groups' benefiting, available on line is an easier concept, which includes 'TRANSPARENCY'

Dipen Rajyaguru

Engagement & Equality Solutions Ltd
Comment date
28 July 2014
What is important to consider is that "The £3.8 billion is not new or additional money and commissioners will have to make important decisions about how the grant is used". The integration and pooling of budgets of the NHS and local authorities is complex and not with out its risks, not in the least losing sight what this means and how this is going to impact on the health needs of the local population.

Having done some project work for a CCG implementing the 'BCF', the fundamentals that have to be addressed and will be asked are 1) why does the change need to happen? 2) who will benefit? 3) who will not benefit? 4) Can it be justified?. I have found that doing the diagnostics through an Equality Impact Analysis (EIA) will definitely help with these questions particularly in defining any health inequalities. There is the statutory requirement of providing 'due regard' to the 'protected characteristics' (defined by the Equality Act 2010) of any adverse and positive impact of the changes and engaging with stakeholders representing the 'protected characteristics' (not just Health Watch or the HWB).

Please let me know if you need help or further advice.


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