The Better Care Fund 2017 to 2019

Introduced in 2013, the Better Care Fund (BCF) is a single budget shared between the NHS and local government to help them work more closely to try to shift resources into social care and community settings. It requires clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities in every single area to pool budgets and to agree an integrated spending plan for how they will use their BCF allocation.

The BCF has primarily been designed as a commissioner tool; both the BCF policy framework and the BCF planning requirements have been written for CCGs and LAs but also health and wellbeing boards. Although the documentation asks for provider input at various stages, it is CCGs and LAs who will be applying for funding and submitting integration plans.

In 2017/18 the combined value of the BCF will be £5.128bn. This figure includes the Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF), first announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, worth £1.115bn. In 2018/19 the total value of the BCF will rise to £5.617bn.

The BCF policy framework contains the basis for the implementation of the BCF in 2017 through to 2019, whilst the BCF planning requirements provides more detail on how plans should be formulated and the assurance processes that will be applied.

This briefing summarises the key changes in the BCF, key areas that are broadly in line with, or are a continuation of, previous policy, the new conditions attached to the iBCF, and NHS Providers’ view.

If you have any questions about the BCF or this briefing, please contact: Adam.Wright@nhsproviders.org

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