April saw the start of the plans agreed between health and social care to spend – as a minimum - the £5.3bn of the Better Care Fund on action to improve the performance and sustainability of the whole health and social care system. The integration agenda has the potential to grow much wider than that, as demonstrated by the burgeoning of devolution initiatives (see Let's get together insight (PDF, 849 KB)) but it is also crucial to make the most of the Better Care Fund, which has just been extended into 2016-2017.
CIPFA has been closely involved in several key pieces of work:
Pooled Budgets and the Better Care Fund (PDF, 700 KB) - this publication, developed together with the HFMA, looks at the governance and finance issues underpinning the operation of a pooled budget.
The Better Care Fund Taskforce’s ‘How To’ guides - they provide practical steps to progress implementation, the current titles are:
The Department of Health’s guidance on Accounting for the Better Care Fund - see pages 86 – 105 here
A survey of progress after the first six months - this was sent in a joint initiative with the HFMA – to all health and local authorities for return by the end of October 2015. If you haven’t yet returned it, please do. We plan to publish the results in November.