In this week’s update:

  • Update on Better Care Fund planning guidance and allocations
  • Q3 reporting template released – returns due by 26 February
  • Regional learning and success sharing events – don’t miss your chance to sign up!

Update on Better Care Fund planning guidance 2016-17

We are not yet able to publish the detailed planning guidance for the Better Care Fund in 2016-17. This is facing a delay, but will be published as soon as possible. Any resulting changes to the timetable for completing Better Care Fund plans will be set out within and alongside publication of the guidance. The Health and Wellbeing Board level BCF allocations will be published alongside the guidance.

Local areas may find it helpful in the meantime to refer to the Better Care Fund 2016-17 Policy Framework that was published on 8 January, and can be found here.


Q3 reporting template released – returns due by 26 February

We are now able to issue the Quarter 3 Reporting Template. The return deadline for this will be 26th February 2016. The template is attached to this email, and can also be found on the Better Care Exchange and on the NHS England Better Care Fund website.

Please read the guidance tab before completing and direct any queries to as usual.


Department of Health ‘New Integration Metrics’ tab

Following the trial collection of a number of new data points on progress towards health and social care integration in the Q2 BCF template, we are looking to repeat the exercise in the Q3 template, building in feedback received last time around.

Jeremy Hunt announced last July that a new set of metrics was needed to measure the degree to which a health and social care economy is making progress towards delivering integrated, coordinated and person-centred care. Work to develop these metrics continues, and the aim is to test a provisional set over the course of 2016/17, refining and modifying them as necessary. We’d like to work with you to make this process work, so welcome your comments on the new metrics included in this version of the template.


The template includes modified versions of the pre-existing reporting questions on use of the NHS number and open APIs. These are to help us understand the progress being made towards the goal of developing and implementing integrated digital care records by 2020. Areas told us that the questions on this subject in the Q2 template were insufficiently detailed to allow an accurate reflection of local progress. We have therefore altered these questions to allow you to provide a more comprehensive account, and hope that it will fix this issue: please let us know if there is more that can or should be done.


We also asked about the use of Personal Health Budgets in the Q2 template, as this relatively new approach to commissioning is likely to play an important role in the evolution of the health and social care system. Some of you reported that the questions we included on this were ambiguous and difficult to answer. We have attempted to make these more specific in the Q3 template, but please do tell us if further improvements can be made.


Finally, we have introduced some questions on the use of Multi-Disciplinary/Integrated Care Teams in both the non-acute and the acute setting. We want to know how common it is for areas to make use of a single team that includes staff from both sides of the health and care system: as long as the local arrangement that you have in mind fits this basic description, you can interpret the term ‘Multi-Disciplinary/Integrated Care Teams’ broadly. This is the first time we have sought to collect this data, so it’s likely to require some work to get the questions right: let us know whether we can refine the current design.


Regional learning and sharing events on Better Care

Don’t miss your chance to sign up for the regional learning and sharing events that are taking place over the next 6 weeks across the country. These events will be an opportunity to network with others working on integration in your region, to hear about what other areas are doing on Better Care, and to share your own experiences.

A reminder of the dates, locations and how to sign up is below:

Tuesday 2nd February 2016, Birmingham
Wednesday 3rd February 2016, Leeds
Thursday 4th February 2016, Manchester
Tuesday 9th February 2016, Newcastle
Wednesday 10th February 2016, Cambridge
Thursday 11th February 2016, Leicester
Tuesday 23rd February 2016, London
Thursday 25th February 2016, Reading
Wednesday 2nd March 2016, Wellington

If you have any questions regarding these events, please contact the PCC events team:

  Anthony Kealy signature

Anthony Kealy

Better Care Support Team Programme Director