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ICBs must submit Better Care Fund Plans in two months

ICBs must submit Better Care Fund Plans in two months
By Jess Hacker
21 July 2022

Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and local authorities have been given just over two months to agree and submit their Better Care Fund (BCF) plans for 2022/23.

The updated planning requirements, released yesterday (19 July), set out a number of updated objectives intended to address wider system and prevention outcomes through co-ordination of services.

These include:

  1. Enabling people to stay well, safe and independent at home for longer
  2. Providing the right care in the right place at the right time.

ICBs and local authorities must jointly agree and submit their plans to deliver on these objectives by 26 September 2022.

NHS England said that areas will be expected to describe their approach to integrating care to deliver these outcomes, including an outline as to how collaborative commissioning will support them.

They will also be required to detail how primary, intermediate, community and social care services are being delivered to support people to remain at home, or return home following inpatient hospital care.

The guidance said: ‘A system-wide understanding of demand and capacity across intermediate care is critical to enabling areas to maximise both people’s health, wellbeing and independence, and utilisation of system resources.

‘It enables areas to understand trends and variation, and so agree joint actions to anticipate demand more accurately across health and care in the medium and long term, and respond more effectively to shorter term or unpredicted demand or challenges.’

Objective One: Enabling people to stay well

BCF plans for 2022-23 should set out how BCF funding (including any voluntarily pooled funding) aligns in support of this objective. This should include:

  • Providing details in the BCF planning template of planned spend on prevention-related activity
  • How joint health and social care activity will contribute to the improvements agreed against BCF national metrics, including prevention (unplanned hospitalisation for chronic ambulatory care sensitive conditions (avoidable admissions to hospital)).

Source: NHS England

Objective Two: Provide the right care in the right place at the right time

BCF plans should set out how ICB and social care commissioners will continue to:

  • Support safe and timely discharge, including ongoing arrangements to embed a home first approach and ensure that more people are discharged to their usual place of residence with appropriate support
  • Carry out collaborative commissioning of discharge services to support this. Systems should have regard to the guidance on collaborative commissioning published by the LGA, in partnership with the BCF Programme, and guidance produced following the evaluation of the Hospital Discharge Policy and Discharge to Assess.

Source: NHS England

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