Questions have arisen about the scale of savings achievable from the £5.3bn Better Care Fund (BCF). The BCF aims to improve integration between NHS and social care. A National Audit Office (NAO) review of the assumptions behind the BCF indicates that potential savings were initially over-estimated, although this report does not suggest that better integration would not be desirable or that it would not yield better patient outcomes.
The NAO has asserted that the quality of preparation and planning was not equal to the grand scale of BCF designer’s ambitions. Currently, plans are forecast to generate £314m of savings for the NHS, instead of the more optimistic £1 billion assumed in early planning.
” …early programme management was inadequate, and the changes to the programme design undermined the timely delivery of local plans and local governments confidence in the Funds value.Ministers were right to pause and redesign the scheme in April this year when they realized it would not meet their expectations. The Fund still contains bold assumptions about the financial savings expected in 2015-16 from reductions in emergency admissions. To offer value for money, the Departments need to ensure more effective support to local areas, better joint working between health bodies and local government, and improved evidence on effectiveness”. Amyas Morse (NAO).
Planning for the Better Care Fund. London: National Audit Office, November 11th 2014.
There is a BBC News discussion on this topic:
Triggle, N. (2014). Care plan savings ‘over-optimistic’. London: BBC Health News, November 11th 2014.
This relates to:
The Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office: Morse, A. (2014). Department of Health, Department for Communities and Local Government and NHS England. Planning for the Better Care Fund. National Audit Office Report (HC 781). Session 2014-15. London: The Stationery Office [Department of Health / National Audit Office], November 11th 2014.
There is also an Executive Summary.
Better Care Exchange
The Better Care Exchange is a freely accessible collaborative online space. This social media site is primarily available as a forum for sharing learning, information and good practice about integrated care, and about implementation of the Better Care Fund. The Exchange was developed with the Better Care Fund Implementation Support Programme.
The Better Care Exchange learning hub. [Online]: Better Care Fund Implementation Support Programme, April 2015.
See also the information from SCIE.