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Integration and Better Care Fund planning requirements for 2017-19

1. The Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have published a detailed policy framework1 for the implementation of the Better Care Fund in 2017-18 and 2018-19. This was developed in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS England. The framework forms part of the NHS England Mandate for 2017-18. It requires NHS England to issue these further detailed requirements to local areas on developing Better Care Fund (BCF) plans for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

2. The BCF provides a mechanism for joint health and social care planning and commissioning, bringing together ring-fenced budgets from Clinical
Commissioning Group (CCG) allocations, the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and funding paid directly to local government for adult social care services – the Improved Better Care Fund (IBCF). The Spring Budget 2017 announced an additional £2 billion to support adult social care in England. This money is included in the IBCF grant to local authorities (LAs) and will be included in local BCF pooled funding and plans.

3. This BCF planning requirements document supports the core NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance for 2017-19.2

4. The legal framework for the Fund derives from the amended NHS Act 2006 (s. 223GA), which requires that in each area the CCG(s) transfer minimum
allocations (as set out in the Mandate) into one or more pooled budgets, established under Section 75 of that Act, and that approval of plans for the use
of that funding may be subject to conditions set by NHS England. NHS England will approve plans for spend from the CCG minimum in consultation with DH and DCLG as part of overall plan approval.

5. The DFG and IBCF Grants are subject to grant conditions set out in grant determinations made under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

6. The NHS Act 2006 also gives NHS England powers to attach additional conditions to the payment of the CCG minimum contribution to the Better Care Fund to ensure that the policy framework is delivered through local plans. These powers do not apply to the DFG and IBCF.