Councillor Margaret Bell (Portfolio Holder for Health and Adult Social Care) introduced this report, explaining that the Better Care Fund (BCF) was a joint programme with the NHS that aimed to enable people to stay well, safe and independent at home for longer and provide the right care in the right place at the right time. A specific part of the BCF; the Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) was introduced in 2017 and was made available to local authorities to meet adult social care needs, reduce pressure on the NHS, support hospital discharge and support the social care market. The iBCF was initially received on a temporary basis but had been recurrent since it’s 2017/18 introduction. No inflation had been applied to the iBCF for 2023/24 so funding remained at £15.132m. The paper outlined the joint review of iBCF schemes in place in 2022/23 undertaken with the Integrated Care Board. The review recommended iBCF schemes continued in 2023/24 with some efficiencies applied and that one scheme was funded by an alternative, more suitable funding stream (Mental Health Street Triage to be funded by the ICB MH budget) as set out in the appendix to the report.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse commented that it would be important to monitor the delivery of services in light of the lack of additional funding. Councillor Bell advised that the lack of an increase to funding had been managed for the current year and agreed that monitoring of the provision of essential services was required.
Councillor Peter Butlin welcomed the work that had been undertaken to identify efficiencies and alternative sources of funding.
1. Approves the schemes to be funded from the Improved Better Care Fund pooled contribution of £15.132m by the Council for 2023/24 and the plan for resources as set out in paragraph 2.6 of the report and Appendix 1 to the report.
2. Requests that, following publication of the national Better Care Fund Policy Framework and Planning Requirements, the local Better Care Fund Plan for 2023/24 is developed for approval by Cabinet in advance of the submission deadline.