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The £3.8bn Better Care Fund was announced in June 2013. Its aim is to transform health and social care integration at a local level, in order to improve outcomes for local people, through the pooling of existing health and social care funding between CCGs and local authorities.
The £3.8bn Better Care Fund was allocated to local commissioners for 2015/16 on condition that:
Local health and wellbeing boards oversee the strategic direction of the Better Care Fund and the delivery of better integrated care as part of their statutory duty to encourage integrated working between commissioners.
CCGs and local authority spending plans had to meet the requirements of planning guidance issued by NHS England, including by setting out:
The local Health and Wellbeing Board would sign off the Better Care Fund plan for its constituent local authorities and CCG.
Arrangements for operational oversight of the Better Care Fund plans in each area are set out in agreements between the CCGs and local authorities under Section 75. Regulations made under Section 75 require those agreements to set out (amongst other things):
A partnership board with membership from both CCGs and local authorities was in place in each area to govern the arrangements.
Key challenges for commissioners in implementing the Better Care Fund plans include: