ELS advise on the implementation of the Better Care Fund
The ELS Projects team advised Essex County Council on the implementation and the administration of the Better Care Fund working collaboratively throughout Essex with the NHS.
Announced by Central Government in June 2013, the Better Care Fund is a £5.3 billion programme aimed to transform integration of national health and social care. The Better Care Fund (BCF) is one of the most ambitious programmes across the NHS and local government to date. The aim is to create local, pooled budgets to incentivise the NHS and Local Authorities to work collaboratively and place wellbeing at the heart of health and care services, and shifting resources into social care and community services for the benefit of the people, communities and health and care systems.
The programme in Essex consisted of the local authority and the five Clinical Commissioning Groups being West, North and Mid Essex CCGs, Castlepoint and Rochford CCG and Basildon and Brentwood CCG. The partners worked up their Better Care Fund Plan to identify services that would jointly have a positive impact on the residents of Essex with the focus on older people and frailty. ELS advised on the implementation and the administration of the Better Care Fund working collaboratively throughout Essex with the NHS.
Each of CCGs entered into a Section 75 Agreement with the County Council and all partners entered into a collaborative agreement that governed the Better Care Fund as a whole and ensured a joined up approach across Essex. ELS advised on all of the agreements and drafted the Collaborative Agreement between all partners.
Dee Davey, Chief Finance Officer, Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said:
"Just want to say a huge thank you to you and your team for all the very hard work on this. The speed and accuracy with which you have dealt with all the changes has been really really impressive. Very well done and thank you. I hope that everyone will recognise that we wouldn’t have got to anywhere close to this position without your huge amount of work."
The current arrangements will run until April 2016 at which point ELS will further advise on the continuation of the Better Care Fund moving forward including possible additions to the pooled funds to drive integration between health and social care even further. ELS is delighted that it continues to provide commercial legal advice to Essex County Council for its on-going commitment to improve the health and wellbeing for Essex and promote integration with health services in this area.