Better Care Fund Planning Requirements

August 8, 2017

NHS England has published frequently asked questions for Better Care Fund Planning Requirements 2017-19.

The frequently asked questions have been designed to help local areas develop their Better Care Fund plans. The number of national conditions has been reduced for 2016-17. The current agreed conditions are:

  • A requirement for a jointly agreed plan, approved by the health and wellbeing board.
  • Real-terms maintenance of transfer of funding from health to support adult social care.
  • Requirement to ring-fence a portion of the clinical commission group minimum to invest in Out of Hospital services.
  • A requirement to implement the High Impact Change model (HIC) for managing transfers of care.

Plans will also need to set out the area’s vision for integrating health and social care by 2020. The guidance and assurance process has been simplified as far as possible, but plans are expected to be an evolution of 2016-17 Better Care Fund plans.

The Better Care Fund also includes a specific grant to local government – the Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF). This funding is paid directly to local authorities but spending plans should be included in the Better Care Fund planning.

Following the Government’s announcement of a package of measures to tackle delayed transfers of care, including expectations for both local government and the NHS to reduce delays; all areas must agree on a metric for delayed transfers of care that includes specific ambitions to reduce delays attributable to the NHS and to social care.

Other frequently asked questions in the document include, where to access the policy framework, planning requirements and planning template, submission dates, opportunities to amend the plans, funding contributions, graduating from the Better Care Fund, metrics and reporting.

The full document of Frequently Asked Questions is available on the NHS England website and any further questions should be directed to the Better Care Support team at

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