In this week’s note:

  • Better Care Fund Planning Guidance 2016-17
  • Invitation to January information sharing workshops
  • Local Integration Support Fund

Better Care Fund Planning Guidance 2016-17


Following the publication of Delivering the Forward View: NHS Planning Guidance yesterday, I wanted to update you on the Better Care Fund Planning Guidance for 2016-17.


The Comprehensive Spending Review (25 November 2015), confirmed that the Better Care Fund will continue into 2016-17 – with a mandated minimum of £3.9 billion to be deployed locally on health and social care through pooled budget arrangements between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups.


The process for the development and assurance/approval of local Better Care Fund plans in 2016-17 will be more streamlined and better integrated into the business-as-usual planning processes for Health and Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities.


In keeping with this approach, the Better Care Fund planning guidance will be issued directly to Councils and as an annex to the NHS technical planning guidance, which will be published on NHS England’s website in early January 2016.


The timescales for submitting Better Care Fund local plans will follow the deadlines set out in the NHS Planning Guidance:

  • First draft – 8 February 2016
  • Refresh – mid-March 2016
  • Final submission (signed off by Health and Wellbeing Boards) - mid-to-late April 2016.

In acknowledgement of the tight timescales involved, it is expected that the first draft submission of Better Care Fund local plans on 8 February will be high-level, focused around the finances and core principles, while providing sufficient detail to support Councils’ budget setting processes. The detailed requirements for submissions and the exact timings for the March and April resubmissions will be confirmed in the guidance.


Invitation to January information sharing workshops


On behalf of the Better Care Support Team, NECS (North of England Commissioning Support Unit) have arranged a series of regional workshops to share learning and good practice in relation to information sharing for direct care. The aims of the workshops are to:

  • Provide practical tools and guidance to organisations carrying out information sharing to support direct care
  • Share examples of good practice from local areas already implementing effective information sharing to support direct care
  • Explore some of the enablers and barriers to effective information sharing currently

These workshops are for information governance, information sharing and programme leads involved in integrated care programmes, but also anybody who is involved in improving practices around information sharing for direct care in any sector. 

To book your place on a workshop please book online at


If you have any questions about booking an event please contact the project manager  on


BCF Local Integration Support Fund


Following a very popular first tranche of LISF bids in November when we allocated £465,000, the fund was expanded to around £1million overall. The level of interest has increased, and a further 84 bids were received in December, totalling £3.7million!


Tranche 2 bids have now been evaluated based on published criteria. Given the level of interest we have had to make some quite difficult decisions about how to allocate the remaining funds. Subject to clarification of some bids, we expect to allocate a further £580,000.


Better Care Managers will now be following up with areas over the next week or so to inform them of the outcome, and regardless of whether funding is offered will look to work with areas to support them however possible. If you have any questions, please contact your Better Care Manager.


Our next update note will be in the New Year. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication- it is much appreciated. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

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Anthony Kealy