What is the Better Care Fund?
The Government announced plans for increasing integration in June 2013 and intended the Better Care Fund (BCF) to be a "catalyst" for change. The Sutton plan underpins the joint Health and Well Being Strategy and has been developed and agreed by the Sutton Health and Wellbeing Board.
The £14.6 million pooled BCF budget of existing funding will be used locally to provide integrated (joined-up) health and social care services. Although this is not new or additional money, joint plans must satisfy national conditions and performance measures to ensure we use it to make a difference for local people.
The programme of transformation launched by Sutton Council and Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) across the borough will support the health and social care system to work more closely together in local areas.
What difference will the Better Care Fund make?
The plans we have developed will ensure we work together to provide:
- Prevention: enable people to maintain the best level of health and wellbeing possible
- Choice and control: support people to maintain their independence, stay safe and receive health and social care services at home whenever possible; reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital and care homes; and when people do need to go into hospital, keep stays as short as possible.
- Quality: improve the quality of care wherever it is delivered.
Some of the ways in which we will do this include:
- Joined-up patient care
- Joint assessments to avoid duplication
- Better communication on health and social care plans
- Better co-ordinated care
- Improved support to help people stay independent and in their own home for longer
- Relevant services available 7 days a week
How quickly will it happen?
The Better Care Fund has the following three phases over the next five years:
Phase one (2014 – 2016)
- Integrating delivery of services for older people including dementia and carers
- Establish a joint integration team sponsored by Sutton Council and NHS Sutton CCG to implement the programme
Phase two (2016 – 2018)
People with learning disabilities and mental health needs, adults with long term conditions and people who may need NHS Continuing Healthcare
Phase three (2018 – 2019)
Young people in transition including those who require complex rehabilitation and access to NHS Continuing Healthcare.
What changes will local people see?
Local people will be able to experience a different range of services becoming available in the community, such as Integrated Care Teams. They will provide the support and care local people need resulting in:
- A lower number of people needing to be admitted to hospital
- A shorter length of stay for those who are admitted to hospital
- The development of centres of excellence for specialised services for people with the most complex medical needs
- Community services that work more closely with hospital services to make sure patients are transferred smoothly from one to the other.
How can you get involved?
NHS Sutton CCG and Sutton Council have been asking local people what they think health and social care should look like. This feedback has been used to help shape the CCG's five year strategies and the BCF. We will continue to involve local people and seek their views on the difference BCF plans are making as this work gets underway.
The Better Care Fund Sutton Plan can be found here.