The Better Care Fund provides an opportunity for the commissioning of a range of community pharmacy services. Photo: iStock

The government has decided to renew the Better Care Fund for 2019-20 with over £6.4 billion in pooled funding, ministers confirmed.

The Better Care Fund, formerly known as the Integration Transformation Fund, provides financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver local services.

The fund also provides an opportunity for the commissioning of a range of community pharmacy services.

According to the new planning requirements, the funding would reduce the overall reporting burden on local partnerships while improving the measurement and effectiveness of the Better Care Fund.

“No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has ended – it’s not fair to patients or their families and places huge pressure on our hardworking NHS staff. The Better Care Fund is an important part of ending these unnecessary waits in the hospital, joining up councils and the health service for the benefit of patients,” said Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Care.

DHSC said the fund has been effective in helping to keep people living independently at home, providing joined-up reablement services, reducing delayed discharges across the system and achieving closer working between the NHS and social care services.

“The Better Care Fund has made a real difference by enabling more people to be cared for at home sooner after treatment, freeing up much-needed hospital beds. This is testament to the hard work of local authorities, the NHS and social care providers working together,” Rishi Sunak, Local Government Minister, said.

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