The Better Care Fund, which provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services, along with helping people to leave hospital sooner to get the care they need at home, will be renewed for 2019 to 2020, ministers have confirmed.
Pooled funding for the initiative will be over £6.4bn.
The government claims social care related delays to patients being sent home from hospital have been nearly halved since February 2017 following multi-billion investment in integrating health and social care, the equivalent to freeing up almost 1,200 NHS beds.
It says the Better Care Fund has helped to keep people living independently at home, provided joined-up reablement services, helped in reducing delayed discharges across the system and achieved closer working between the NHS and social care services.
The fund builds on the NHS Long Term Plan’s aim to create a more integrated and collaborative health and care system.
“No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has ended – it’s not fair to patients or their families and places huge pressure on our hardworking NHS staff. The Better Care Fund is an important part of ending these unnecessary waits in hospital, joining up councils and the health service for the benefit of patients,” said Minister for Care Caroline Dineage.
“Thanks to this government’s multi-billion pound investment the fund has significantly reduced delays to discharging patients. We must continue to work together to improve services and give people the best possible experiences of care, a crucial part of the NHS Long Term Plan.”
Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, said: “We’re determined to improve the way social care services and the NHS work together to help society’s most vulnerable people.
“The Better Care Fund has made a real difference by enabling more people to be cared for at home sooner after treatment, freeing up much-needed hospital beds.
“This is testament to the hard work of local authorities, the NHS and social care providers working together.We remain committed to supporting local collaboration so that health and care services continue to improve.”