Ministers have confirmed that the Better Care Fund will be renewed for 2019/20, bringing the pooled funding to over £6.4bn.
The fund provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services. It also supports the reduction of delayed transfers of care, so that people can leave hospital sooner with the care they require.
Social care related delays to patients being sent home from hospital have been nearly halved since February 2017, freeing up almost 1,200 NHS beds.
The Better Care Fund has been effective in:
- Helping to keep people living independently at home.
- Providing joined-up reablement services.
- Reducing delayed discharges across the system.
- Achieving closer working between the NHS and social care services.
This builds on the NHS Long Term Plan’s aims to create a more integrated and collaborative health and care system.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said, 'No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has ended – it’s not fair to patients or their families and places huge pressure on our hardworking NHS staff. The Better Care Fund is an important part of ending these unnecessary waits in hospital, joining up councils and the health service for the benefit of patients.
'...We must continue to work together to improve services and give people the best possible experiences of care, a crucial part of the NHS Long Term Plan.'
Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, said, 'We’re determined to improve the way social care services and the NHS work together to help society’s most vulnerable people.
'The Better Care Fund has made a real difference by enabling more people to be cared for at home sooner after treatment, freeing up much-needed hospital beds. This is testament to the hard work of local authorities, the NHS and social care providers working together.
'We remain committed to supporting local collaboration so that health and care services continue to improve.'