The first full year of the Better Care Fund (BCF) starts in April 2015. London Councils believes that there are seven steps that government should commit to taking to ensure full value is gained from this initiative and that it can be used as a springboard to even closer health and care integration.
A number of these steps can be taken immediately, while others should receive early attention from the new government when it takes office in May.
Our 7 steps are:
- Health and Wellbeing Boards should be given responsibility for operational resilience and capacity planning for winter 2015/16 so that this can be effectively aligned with local BCF arrangements
- The £37 million given to local government late this year to address delayed transfers of care should be incorporated into baselines
- Local authorities and CCGs should be able to form joint committees for the purposes of commissioning local health and care services
- Government should provide local government with the funding required to meet the additional costs falling on local authorities arising from the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) judgement - estimated to be £98 million in 2014/15
- Government monitoring of existing BCF schemes should l be light touch to allow staff to focus on making progress on the ground
- The Law Commission should move rapidly to issue clear guidance on the provisions of the Data Protection Act as this applies to integration
- To avoid progress stalling, government should provide early clarity about plans for the BCF in 2016/17
Download our 2 page report on the left of this page and read our press release.