What is it?
The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a single pooled budget created for Health and Social Care services to work more closely together on integration in local areas, based on a plan agreed between them. It is a national initiative which is made up of existing resources. This way of managing money began in 2015/2016 with an updated plan developed in subsequent years.
It brings an opportunity to bring resources together to address immediate pressures on services and lay foundations for a much more integrated system of health and care.
What is the local plan?
The plan for Buckinghamshire is jointly managed between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Buckinghamshire County Council. It focuses on care for older people (over 65) and people with long term health conditions including out of hospital support, stroke recovery and falls prevention, with work being undertaken in partnership with a range of providers.
The aims of the BCF link to those of the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy, for people to be healthier and to have a higher quality of life for longer. People should also have more control over the health and social care they receive, focused on their needs, supporting their independence and provided locally wherever possible.
The means to achieve this is through offering proactive care (mainly provided in people’s homes and by primary, community and social care) rather than reactive care (mainly provided in acute and institutional settings). People should not be defined by their disabilities, but by their abilities, their potential and what they can do for themselves, with and without support.
Buckinghamshire’s Better Care Fund is focused on older people because:
- The 65 and above age group is projected to continue growing by more than a third to 36% of the population by 2025, while the 85 and above population is projected to increase by 84% over the same period.
- The 65 and above age group represents a high proportion of hospital admissions and are the group which tends to receive care from a variety of providers and would therefore benefit from greater integration.
- Both age groups have life expectancy variation across the county and present an increased risk of falls, long term conditions and poorer mental health (e.g. depression).
How much is it?
The size of the Fund across the NHS in 2018/19 had a value of £5.617bn. Locally in Buckinghamshire, the fund in 2017/18 totalled £3.658m
This is managed through what is known as an S75 agreement between the county council and CCGs. This agreement allows for transfer of funds from the CCG to the county council, which they then spend on services on behalf of the CCG.
How is it monitored?
A joint CCG and county council group known as the Integrated Commissioning Committee monitors the Fund to ensure that it is spent wisely. This committee then provides information on progress to the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board.
Please contact us if you would like more information on the local plans – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Better Care Fund Planning – NHS England