More than £6.9 billion has been committed to continue driving integration between health and social care and support local recovery from the pandemic.
The Better Care Fund (BCF) has been increased this year to continue driving integration between the health and social care system and support local recovery from the pandemic.
More than £6.9 billion has been committed to help people to stay at home and live independently as far as possible, to minimise the time spent in hospital, and to help them recover after they leave hospital by enabling access to care and support services if needed.
The BCF will be a minimum of £6.9 billion in 2021-22, including £4.3 billion of NHS funding and £2.1 billion from the improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) grant to local authorities and £573 million from the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
The NHS contribution to the BCF is increasing by 5.3% in line with the NHS Long Term Plan settlement, and the iBCF and DFG are being maintained at their 2020-21 levels. This was confirmed in the 2020 Spending Review.
The BCF Policy Framework has now been published for 2021-22 which aims to build on progress during the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening the integration of commissioning and delivery of services and delivering person centred care.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how joint approaches to the wellbeing of people, between health, social care and the wider public sector can be effective even in the most difficult circumstances. By placing Integrated Care Systems (ICS) on a statutory footing, we are embedding more power and autonomy in the hands of local systems, to deliver seamless health and social care services.
The BCF which stared in 2015 to join-up the NHS, social care and housing services so older people, and those with complex needs, can manage their own health and wellbeing, and live independently in their communities for as long as possible.