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Social care pooled funding reaches £6.4bn as Better Care Fund renewed

Ministers have confirmed the renewal of the Better Care fund for 2019 to 2020, bringing the available pooled funding to £6.4bn.

The fund provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services. It enables people to leave hospital sooner, to get the care they need at home.

Planning requirements for the fund, published on 18 July, will reduce the overall reporting burden on local partnerships, while also improving the measurement and effectiveness of the Better Care Fund.

Social care-related delays to patients being sent from hospital have been nearly halved since February 2017, following multi-billion pound government investment in integrating health and social care – the equivalent of freeing up almost 1,200 NHS beds.

The fund has so far 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

Minister for health and social 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.

“Thanks to this government’s multi-billion pound investment the fund has significantly reduced delays to discharging 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, added: “We’re determined to improve the way social care services and the NHS work together to help society’s most vulnerable people.

“We remain committed to supporting local collaboration so that health and care services continue to improve.”


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