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by GK Strategy 12th November, 2014
3 min read

Better Care?

Yesterday’s (11th November) National Audit Office Report on the Better Care Fund found that the original planning for the government’s programme on integrating health and social care lacked the evidence-based approach required, prompting Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, to brand the planning “a shambles”.

The £1 billion savings originally forecasted by NHS England have since been significantly reduced to £55 million – just 5% of what was initially expected.

According to the report, the effective delivery of the Better Care Fund is reliant upon goodwill and a joint commitment, but persistent delays and amendments to the design of the fund have fractured its credibility with local bodies, and this goodwill has, as a result, been partly compromised.

While the Better Care Fund embodies a mechanism to better integrate healthcare, the NAO found that it is a complex and challenging scheme.

If the fund is to transpire as a foundation for the future of the NHS, robust leadership and effective cross-governmental working are critical.

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