The Department of Health and Social Care announced today that the Better Care Fund will be increased this year in a bid to integrate the health and social care system, as well as supporting the local recovery from the pandemic.
More than £6.9bn is expected to be invested to help older people, and those with complex needs, manage their own health and well-being. Other incentives include encouraging people to stay at home and live an independent life as much as possible. This is thought to reduce the time that patients spend in hospital, helping them recover at home instead, through access to care and support services when required.
The BCF Policy Framework outlines the parameters of the fund for the year. This aims to build on the progress made during the Covid-19 pandemic, hoping to strengthen the combination of commissioning, delivery of services, and delivering person centred care.
The BCF will be a minimum of £6.9bn in 2021-22, which will include £4.3bn NHS funding, £2.1bn from the improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) grant to local authorities, and £573m from the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan settlement, the NHS’s payment to the BCF is increasing by 5.3%. The iBCF and DFG will be maintained at their 2020-21 levels. This was confirmed in the 2020 Spending Review.
The BCF stared in 2015 to join up the NHS, social care, and housing services together. More can be found on the BCF on the NHS website