Local government leaders almost walked away from Better Care Fund deal, MPs hear

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 02 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7433
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The controversial Better Care Fund, designed to shift care from hospitals in England to the community by encouraging integrated health and social care, almost collapsed as local government leaders considered walking away from the agreement, MPs have been told.

The balance of the fund’s priorities tipped towards the NHS too much at one point, and local government had to be persuaded that it was not being unfairly dealt with, witnesses have admitted to MPs on the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

The Better Care Fund aims to help older and disabled people be cared for more in the community than in hospitals by creating a single pooled budget to incentivise the NHS and local government to work more closely together. It is now intended …

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