29th January 2018

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of lessons learned from areas which have already integrated health and social care services.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care: The Better Care Fund (BCF), implemented from 2015/16, is the first mandatory policy to facilitate integration. All local areas need to have approved BCF plans in place to receive the BCF. The BCF has helped to join up health and care services so people can manage their own health and wellbeing, and live independently in their communities for as long as possible. In 2015-16, 90% of areas said it had already had a positive impact on integration locally. In the first two years of BCF, local areas voluntarily pooled more than the minimum required taking the total to £5.3 billion and £5.9 billion respectively.

BCF has provided a foundation, but we want to do more to deliver joined up care. A Quality and Outcomes of Person-centred Care Policy Research Unit system-level evaluation of the BCF is underway, and the final report will be ready in spring 2018. The Department is working with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to better understand good practice in integrated care and how we could develop a more balanced set of measures of success in this area.

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