Joint Report of the Associate Director of Commissioning (Care and Health) Devon County Council and NHS Devon CCG on the Better Care Fund (BCF), Quarter Return, Performance Report and Performance Summary on the BCF.
The Board considered a joint Report from the Associate Director of Commissioning (Care and Health) and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on the Better Care Fund (BCF), Quarter Return, Performance Report and Performance Summary.
Regular reports were provided on the progress of the Devon Better Care Fund Plan to enable monitoring by the Health and Wellbeing Board. Performance and progress were reviewed monthly by the Joint Coordinating Commissioning Group through the high-level metrics reports and progress overview.
The Better Care Fund (BCF) was the only mandatory policy to facilitate integration between Health and Social Care, providing a framework for joint planning and commissioning. The BCF brought together ring-fenced budgets from Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) allocations, the Disabled Facilities Grant and funding paid to local government for adult social care services. The Health and Wellbeing Board had oversight of the BCF and was accountable for its delivery.
The Report advised that the new national BCF Guidance for 2020-21 was still to be published, though it was expected that any requirements for a new plan would be light touch.
The Report highlighted that as a result of the pandemic, national reporting of Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC) was put on hold from March 2020. Delays were monitored daily across all Devon’s Acute trusts, with local A&E Delivery Boards taking ownership. DToC performance was greatly affected by COVID-19. Delayed transfers started to decrease in March due to the requirement to reduce bed occupancy levels to 50% as part of the pandemic response, dropping to a very low level in April and May. Since May delays had been steadily increasing as elective services recommenced.
The Report advised that each locality had been allocated winter pressures funding based on over 75’s population, and an allocation had also been made for mental health.The aim of the fund was to develop services that would support the health and care systems to manage winter demand, e.g. to avoid admission or support discharge. These schemes formed part of the Devon Winter Plan, the spend and impact was monitored via the bi-monthly BCF reporting process and reported centrally via the BCF quarterly returns.
In response to questions from the Board, officers advised that funding was based on Local Authority boundaries, however Devon worked very closely with Plymouth and Torbay to agree common outcomes and priorities. They also explained that a lot of work was underway around increasing delivery of care within the home, in particular with specialist care. Members highlighted the difficulty of finding placements in some areas where there were not enough carers available to provide care within the home; where some areas of Devon had a high cost of living and house prices, which meant carers could not afford to live locally. Officer advised that the Council’s Proud to Care campaign aimed at recruiting more people into the care sector but acknowledged this was a challenge.
RESOLVED that the Board continued with current 2019/20 arrangements for 2020/21 (as detailed within the report) pending receipt of national requirements.