In this week’s update:

  • Implementation support
  • Pooled budget agreements for the BCF
  • The future hospital

Implementation support

Thank you for all of your responses to the support survey.  The implementation support consortium will use this input to shape the programme over the upcoming months to ensure support is provided in the most helpful way possible.  If you have any further feedback, please contact


The consortium has listened to your feedback and has made a couple of changes to the upcoming schedule of practical support sessions:

  • The first set of regional workshops, focusing on effective leadership to support successful implementation, are now being scheduled in the weeks commencing 16th and 23rd February, to ensure as many of you can attend as possible.  Dates are being finalised and invitations will be issued this week.
  • A series of virtual ‘drop-in clinics’ are now being scheduled for the weeks commencing 2nd and 9th February.  These will be one-on-one telephone calls with national experts for individual sites to discuss the particular challenges and issues they are facing in their local area.  The expert panel, including Paul Corrigan, Sir John Oldham, Stephen Dorrell (and more), will offer their wide range of experience and expertise and provide guidance and practical tips to address your priority needs.  More information on these sessions will be circulated by the BCF regional leads early this week.

The first co-design workshop was held on Friday 23rd January, with an excellent turnout from over 30 people from across health and social care.  The workshop covered thoughts around what practical support would be useful to people for helping them to implement better care, and ideas around what form this may take to enable sharing and learning across the country.  The outputs from the workshop will be used to shape the support offer going forwards, with a particular focus on developing an online platform to build communities and share good practice. To contribute your ideas on this, the consortium will be launching a second survey soon to ensure they can incorporate input from as many people as possible.


Watch out for the first how-to guide, ‘How to lead and manage Better Care implementation’, which will be published shortly.


Better Care Fund Parliamentary event

Early planning is underway for a Better Care Fund event in Parliament on Tuesday 24 March.  The aim of the event is to recognise and celebrate some of the excellent work taking place across the country to promote integrated ways of working.  The exact format of the event is yet to be finalised, but the central component will be to bring together inspirational members of staff from health and care economies across the country to congratulate them on their work and offer them an opportunity to share ideas. 


On that basis, we have asked all members of the Better Care Fund Communications Network to nominate a member of staff from their area.  It could be a carer or a community nurse, a GP or a physiotherapist, or anyone else who has been directly involved in introducing integrated working, and who has seen the benefits first-hand.  If you have any suggestions for your local Network representative, please do get in touch with them; the contact list is attached. 


The future hospital

NHS England has published its planning guidance for 15/16, which follows the recently published Five Year Forward View.  The document sets out how NHS England envisages the principles laid out in the Forward View will be put into practice, and raises some interesting questions about the future shape of services.  Anna Dixon, Chief Analyst and Director of Strategy at the Department of Health, has written a blog on the subject, which can be read here, and includes some reflections on the important role of integrated working.


Many thanks,


John Wardell

Better Care Fund Deputy Programme Director


Better Care Fund Task Force

Department of Health

Local Government Association

NHS England

Department of Communities & Local Government