The £3.8bn Better Care Fund (formerly the Integration Transformation Fund) was announced by the government in June 2013 to ensure transformation of integrated health and social care.
The Better Care Fund is a single pooled budget to support health and social care services to work more closely together, based on plans developed and agreed between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Plans will need to address a series of national conditions which include better data-sharing between organisations, seven day working to support health and social care patients and joint approaches to assessments and care planning.
The Better Care Fund will support the aim of providing people with the right care, in the right place, at the right time, including through a significant expansion of care in community settings. The Fund officially comes into effect in April 2015.
Health and Wellbeing Boards are responsible for signing off local plans, ensuring they are appropriate for their locality and address the mandatory national conditions. Final plans have been taken forward for ministerial sign off via NHS England and are now awaiting formal approval.
In Blackpool, the Health and Wellbeing Board have set up a programme board made up of senior health and social care officers from the council, Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Blackpool Teaching Hospital to co-ordinate local plans and develop the model for Better Care.
NHS England have provided national guidance on the Better Care Fund for local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups including plan templates, technical and planning guidance.