Making the best of the Better Care Fund 2017 – 19
The council and CCG are currently in the process of developing our third better care fund plan. You can see our first two Better Care Fund Plans here on our website.
What is the Better Care Fund?
- A nationally driven policy to ensure that local CCGs and councils work together to join up health and care services.
- It helps to reduce demand for hospital services and aims to ensure people are supported better at home or in their recovery.
- Is intended that services meet both health and care needs.
The Better Care Fund is a mechanism to ensure that local health organisations and councils put together a minimum level of funding to achieve certain aims. In particular the policy aims to ensure that social services help to reduce demand in accident and emergency services (A&E) and reduce hospital stays by ensuring people can be discharged from hospital more quickly. All of this work helps to ensure that local services are sustainable.
Earlier this year the government, recognising the pressures in the health and care system, created a new fund called iBCF; this was additional money given to local areas. For North East Lincolnshire this represents around £4m of extra funding, but it can only be used once and it is not a recurring fund.
What can the money be used for?
The iBCF and BCF are linked and we have to produce one plan for North East Lincolnshire showing how we are trying to integrated health and social care to make better services for patients and service users.
The government has set down guidelines for the use of the funding:
- Meeting adult social care needs;
- Reducing pressures on the NHS, including supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready; and
- Ensuring that the local social care provider market is supported.
We have to show how we are making a difference to:
- Delayed transfers of care (discharges from hospital)
- Non-elective admissions (accident and emergency)
- Admissions to residential and care homes; and
- Effectiveness of rehabilitation services
How can you help?
We already have a programme of work which focuses on the better care fund aims. The following projects and programmes of work are already included within our existing BCF plans and will continue to be developed:
- Enhanced support to care homes which will reduce hospital admissions and improve the quality of care delivered.
- Re-shaping home based (domiciliary) care to achieve better quality services for users; this will help to improve the experience of working in the care sector and improve the number of suitably trained people available to deliver high quality care.
- Extra care housing, which will provide greater choice of housing and care for older residents.
- Seven day service delivery, which will improve the availability of key services and help to manage the flow of patients out of hospital.
- Improvements to dementia services to improve the quality of experience for dementia patients and their carers.
- Urgent and emergency care improvement to ensure that hospital admissions are better managed.
We have started some thinking about how we can use the iBCF money and it would be useful to have your views on our thinking so far.
The ideas below have been identified from engagement between council officers and CCG commissioning staff, an engagement workshop with the Accord steering group and the community forum, and feedback from engagement with the accountable care partnership board (a partnership board of local service providers which includes Care Plus Group, Navigo, the hospital trust, GPs, focus independent adult social work and commissioners).
These ideas are being considered because they will either enable money to be saved in future years or will contribute to on-going improvement without on-going cost implications:
Investing in technology
- Enhanced care records to enable all providers to share information
- System improvements to increase efficiency
- Equipment and adaptations to improve independence and reduce care costs
Improvements to assist in hospital discharge:
- Increasing the number of intermediate or “step down” beds to reduce the burden of care within the hospital
- Improved intermediate care at home service to ensure people are better supported at home following hospital discharge
- Implementing new assessment practice to improve the speed of hospital discharges
Workforce training and development
We would be grateful for your comments on the proposals outlined above.
Please feedback via nelccg-Accord@nhs.net or call us on 0300 3000 567