Better Care Fund clawback betrays integration strategy
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Should there be a remaining few who still need to be convinced that the current government, like its predecessor, is making social care policy on the hoof, the grab-back of money allocated to councils as part of the Better Care Fund should do the trick.
Announced in June last year, the Better Care Fund was a single pooled budget of £3.8bn meant to support health and social care services to work more closely together in local areas. It would ‘ensure a transformation in integrated health and social care’ said the Government.
That worthy goal has now been set aside and the Government has told local authorities to give Better Care Fund money back to the NHS if hospital admissions are not reduced. So much for even a medium-term strategic policy for integrating health and social care.
It bodes ill for older people who lack the means to fund their own care – they look like losing out in both health and social services as government scrabbles about looking for short term fixes to delay the inevitable crunch.
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