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Better care plans forecast half a billion savings

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Councils and clinical commissioning groups aim to save £532m by joining up health and social care services under the government’s better care fund.

The plans, put together by health and wellbeing boards, collectively aim to cut hospital stays by 3.07%, equivalent to 163,162 fewer, Department of Health figures show.

The plans also aim for a 7.5% reduction in unnecessary days in hospital because of delayed transfers of care, which would save £31m.

Councils and CCGs will pool £5.3bn, which is £1.5bn more than the minimum they are required to share. LGC reported in February that several councils were planning to put their entire elderly care budgets into the pooled fund, with some CCGs also planning to add extra funding.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt was expected to outline further details of areas’ better care fund plans at the national children and adult services conference in Manchester today.

The fund requires councils and CCGs to share funding worth at least £3.8bn, and to use this to protect care services and improve joint working. It is not yet clear how much of the £5.3bn will be used to protect social care.

The LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services warned this week that social care faced a possible £4.3bn funding gap by the end of the decade.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Isn't it obvious that the BCF is going largely to restore some of the cuts made to social care by the austerity programme and the £3.4bn top sliced from the NHS budget amounts to a breach of the shaky health ring fence. The claimed cost savings are hardly non-contentious. It is highly improbable that whatever savings do emerge will be happily coincidental with the flow of money into the fund. The reduction in hospital costs will initially be an accounting fix in lieu of presumed reduction in real costs. Once it is realised that BCF amounts to a cut in the NHS budget in the short term there will be an almighty row.

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