Dear colleagues, 

In this week’s update:

  • Better Care Fund planning return template 2016/17 
  • LGA Ready Reckoner for Care Act funding in the BCF
  • Latest regional sharing and learning events
  • Save the date – forthcoming conferences in March


Better Care Fund 2016-17 planning returns

Following the release of the BCF planning guidance, the planning return template was published last week, please see:

A webinar took place on Friday 26 February to help with completing the planning return template. This has been published online for others to access. Unfortunately we have had some technical issues with the audio on the recording, but the slides are still accessible here:

We have put together a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer any immediate queries, and will update this regularly through the planning process. Attached here is the first version.

The deadlines for returns for local Better Care Fund plans are:

2 March:          Local areas to submit a first draft of the BCF planning return template only to national DCO teams, copied to the Better Care Support Team, detailing the technical elements of the planning requirements, including funding contributions, a scheme level                            spending plan, national metric plans, and any local risk sharing agreement.

21 March:        First submission of full narrative plans for Better Care alongside a second submission of the BCF planning return template.

25 April:          Final submission, once formally signed off by the Health and Wellbeing Board. 


Care Act money in BCF

There is £138m of Care Act money in BCF in 16/17 (up from £135m in 15/16). The money is within CCG allocations and is calculated on the RNF (not CCG formula). The specific uses of that money have changed from 15/16 to focus on support for carers and advocacy. The Department of Health are yet to confirm how the other components of the Care Act are being funded – a letter is expected on this soon. In the meantime, and as per last year, the LGA has produced the attached ready reckoner to support areas in their local budget setting. The ready reckoner provides an illustrative breakdown on Care Act funding through the BCF and general council funding in 2016/17 based on latest discussions with the Department of Health. The ready reckoner will be updated as DH confirms further funding decisions.


Delayed Transfers of Care: new national condition for BCF plans 2016/17

Webinar, Monday 7 March 2016, 3-4pm


BCF leads are encouraged to join a live webinar regarding Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOC) plans within the BCF plan. Join the Better Care Support Team and consultant Hannah Miller who will present a useful signposting resource for you to consider when developing your system-wide DTOC plans, and answer questions.

A short resource will be launched on the day, including:


•      signposting to the most up-to-date guidance, tools and practice examples


•      a checklist of issues to consider when developing DTOC plans


•      sources of additional support on DTOC planning and delivery.

There are limited places available on the webinar. Book your place now by emailing


The webinar will be recorded and published online together with the DTOC signposting framework.


Regional Learning and Sharing events – update

Over the last week, we’ve held two of our series of regional learning and sharing events – in London on 23 Feb and in Reading on 25 Feb. Both were really interesting events, allowing local areas to share some of the challenges and successes that they’ve had in integrating health and social care services. In London we heard from a number of local areas who are making real progress on reducing non elective admissions and delayed transfers of care. In Reading we heard about some of the interesting patient insight work going on in Brighton, and the value of having a joint vision and strong shared leadership in Southampton. Presentations will be shared shortly.

Our final learning and sharing event will be held in Wellington / Taunton on 2 March and you can book your place by going to:

Unfortunately this is the same day as the first set of BCF 2016-17 planning returns are due, but we hope as many of you will be able to make it as possible.


Upcoming health and social care conferences taking place in March

In fast moving periods, it can be particularly beneficial to network with colleagues experiencing similar issues and problems to ourselves. It also helps us gain a wider perspective on possible solutions as well as updates from experts on latest ideas and developments. With this in mind, we have collated an events list covering the next couple of months – one at which I am speaking.  Please see full details below:

Date: 07 March 2016
Title: The Value of Engaging People in Service Change
Venue: Birmingham
Summary: Facilitated by Debbie Sorkin of The Leadership Centre, this event will bring together local and national Healthwatch, commissioners and providers from around the country, and stakeholders from service change programmes.
Organiser: Healthwatch
Cost: Free
Further details:
Note: BCF’s Better Care Support Team Programme Director, Anthony Kealy, is speaking on the BCF and lessons learned from the first year of implementation at this event.

Date: 10 March 2016
Title: Integration: how the workforce is making it happen
Venue: Birmingham
Summary: The conference will explore how to make integration a reality using their experience of social care leadership and workforce development. The conference will showcase the latest models and lessons being learnt, and emphasise the importance of a joined-up approach to organising care around the needs of people in our communities.
Organiser: Skills For Care
Cost: £245 plus vat
Further details:
Note: Alastair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care,  is confirmed as a speaker.

Date: 21 March 2016
Title: Multi-Agency Information Sharing Conference
Venue: Central London
Summary: Bringing together best practice from local authorities, health, fire and rescue and the Information Commissioner’s Office, this event addresses the key barriers to effective information sharing protocols and provides guidance on building strong, simple and secure data sharing systems. 
Cost: £359
Further details:

Date: 23 March 2016
Title: Local Area Co-ordination
Venue: Central London
Summary: This conference focuses on how investment in Local Area Coordination can help local authorities, social care, health services and community based care and support services to meet the challenges of delivering the Care Act and other reform agendas, in an a resource restricted environment.
Organiser: Capita Conferences
Cost: £359
Further details:
Local Area Coordination is a long term, integrated, evidence based approach to supporting people with disabilities, mental health needs, older people and their families/carers. 


Anthony Kealy

Anthony Kealy


Better Care Support Team Programme Director