CareHealthNewsSocial Care

Government Commits to £7.2 Billion “Better Care Fund” Framework 2022-23

The government has published the Better Care Fund framework (BCF) 2022-23 ensuring greater join up of health, social care and housing services to help older people and those with complex needs and disabilities to live at home for longer. A minimum of £7.2 billion has already been committed to the BCF this year to enable people to stay well, safe and independent at home and get the care they need, when they need it by funding things like adaptations to homes for disabled people and rehabilitating people back into their communities after a spell in hospital.

Over 90% of local areas have consistently agreed that delivery of the BCF in other years has improved joint working between health and social care, helping to provide joined up NHS and social care services to patients, supporting hospitals across the country with discharge pressures and ensuring a better transition for those needing support after a hospital stay.

The 2022-23 BCF framework will continue to build on initiatives developed during the pandemic, strengthening the integration of commissioning and delivery of services and providing person-centred care, as well as continuing to support system recovery from the pandemic. It will also strengthen focus on person-centred outcomes by asking areas to meet two overarching objectives reflecting the priorities for health and social care integration:

• Enable people to stay well, safe and independent at home for longer
• Provide the right care in the right place at the right time

As part of this, local authorities will be asked to develop capacity and demand plans for intermediate care covering both admissions avoidance and hospital discharge across health and social care to help the system prepare for winter.

The Better Care Fund was launched in 2015 to join up the NHS, social care and housing services so that 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.

The BCF requires local authorities to pool budgets, including £4.5 billion of NHS funding, £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 5.66% in line with the NHS Long Term Plan settlement. Since 2015, the BCF has included a condition that a minimum amount of the NHS contribution is used to fund social care services that have a health benefit. In 2022, this minimum is almost £2 billion, and will protect vital social care services that help people to remain independent or recover following a spell in hospital.

The improved Better Care Fund (iBCF), which is part of the overall BCF funding package, has increased by £63m this year, to £2.14bn. The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) will be maintained in 2022-23 at £573 million.