23 July 2019
It has been confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that the Better Care Fund will be renewed for 2019 to 2020, bringing the pooled funding to over £6.4 billion.
The fund provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services, to help people to leave hospital sooner to get the care they need at home.
Social care related delays to patients being sent home from hospital have been nearly halved since February 2017 following billions of government investment in integrating health and social care.
The fund has been effective in helping to keep people living independently at home; providing joined-up reablement services; reducing delayed discharges across the system; and achieving closer working between the NHS and social care services.
It builds on the NHS Long Term Plan’s aims to create a more integrated and collaborative health and care system.
Planning requirements published on 18 July will reduce the overall reporting burden on local partnerships while improving the measurement and effectiveness of the Better Care Fund. They were developed in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS England.
Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said that, thanks to the Government’s multi-billion pound investment, the fund has significantly reduced delays to discharging patients. She added: "No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has ended – it’s not fair to patients or their families and places huge pressure on our hardworking NHS staff. The Better Care Fund is an important part of ending these unnecessary waits in hospital, joining up councils and the health service for the benefit of patients."
More information about the planning requirements are available at www.gov.uk.