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29.07.19

Better Care Fund policy framework for 2019 to 2020 released

The government has released the framework for the Better Care Fund, detailing how the fund will work in 2019 to 2020.

Pooled funding for the Better Care Fund reached £6.4bn when it was renewed earlier this month.

The fund provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services, enabling people to leave hospital sooner to get the care they need at home.

Planning requirements for the fund, published on 18 July, will reduce the overall reporting burden on local partnerships, while also improving the measurement and effectiveness of the Better Care Fund.

READ MORE: Pooled funding reaches £6.4bn as Better Care Fund renewed

Social care-related delays to patients being sent from hospital have been nearly halved since February 2017, following multi-billion pound government investment in integrating health and social care – the equivalent of freeing up almost 1,200 NHS beds.

The newly-released framework document sets out the agreed way in which the BCF will be implemented in financial year 2019 to 2020. It includes the level of funding for 2019 to 2020, conditions of access to the fund, national performance metrics and the assurance and approval process.

At the time the Better Care Fund was renewed, minister for health and social care, Caroline Dinenage, said: “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.

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