To:      Health and Wellbeing Board

2 December 2021



Better Care Fund Plan 2021/22

Executive Director of People

1       Purpose of Report

1.1      The Health and Wellbeing Board decided, on 8 November 2021, to delegate authority to sign off the Bracknell Forest Better Care Fund Plan 2021/22 to the Executive Director of People, Bracknell Forest Council and the Managing Director for Bracknell Forest, Frimley CCG. This was to enable the timely submission of the Plan to the regional Better Care Manager in line with national planning requirements.

1.2      Before the submission on 16 November 2021, the Plan was signed off by officers outlined above, and by the Chief Executive, Bracknell Forest Council and the Accountable Officer, Frimley CCG, as well as the Health and Wellbeing Board Chair.

1.3      This report asks the Health and Wellbeing Board to formally approve the Better Care Fund Plan 2021/22.


2       Recommendation(s)

2.1      For the Board to approve the Better Care Fund Plan 2021/22 consistent of: Bracknell Forest Better Care Fund Narrative Plan 2021/22 (Annex 1) and Bracknell Forest Better Care Fund Planning Template 2021/22 (Annex 2).

3       Reasons for Recommendation(S)

3.1      To ensure compliance with the BCF Framework 2021/22 and associated submission and assurance process.

4       Alternative Options Considered

4.1      None

5       Supporting Information

5.1      The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have published a Policy Framework[1] for the implementation of the Better Care Fund (BCF) in 2021-22. The Framework forms part of the NHS mandate for 2021-22.

5.2      As set out in the BCF Policy Framework, the requirements of the planning process have been kept simple and focused on continuity in 2021-22, while enabling areas to agree plans for integrated care that support recovery from the pandemic and build on the closer working many systems developed to respond to it. Collection of BCF plans will recommence in 2021-22 and plans will be assured at regional level. Use of BCF mandatory funding streams (clinical commissioning group [CCG] minimum contribution, improved Better Care Fund [iBCF] grant and Disabled Facilities Grant [DFG]) must be jointly agreed by CCGs and local authorities to reflect local health and care priorities, with plans signed off by Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs).


5.3      For 2021-22, BCF plans consist of:

a)    a narrative plan – see Annex 1. Key priorities for Bracknell Forest to note:

·         Embedding Integrated Care Decision Making for early discharge planning and admission avoidance

·         Integrated Care Teams delivering strengths-based and person-centred care

·         Ageing Well and frailty support

·         Mental health and wellbeing – reducing social isolation

·         Joint commissioning and collaborative working

·         Building capacity to access quality care and support in the community

b)    a completed BCF planning template – see Annex 2. Key points to note:

·         Total pooled budget of £14,873,334 with main spend areas:

                                    i.        Reablement in a person’s own home: £4,252,514 (28.6%)

                                   ii.        Residential Placements: £3,526,910 (23.7%)

                                  iii.        Enablers for Integration: £1,384,181 (9.3%)

                                  iv.        Assistive Technologies and Equipment: £1,198,480 (8.1%)

5.4      Following the submission, a regional assurance and cross-calibration process is underway. Approval letters giving formal permission to spend are expected in mid -January 2022 with the Section 75 to be signed and in place by 31 January 2022.


6       Consultation and Other Considerations

Legal Advice

6.1     Legal advice was sought when planning the approach for agreeing Section 75 for 21/22.

Financial Advice

6.1      Annex 2 was developed with input from the Better Care Fund Finance Leads from the Council and the CCG.

Other Consultation Responses

6.2      The plan was shared for input with stakeholders from housing, social care, community engagement, public health, FHFT, the Place Committee and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

6.3      Consultation was also competed with Berkshire Better Care Fund leads and the regional Better Care Manager.

Equalities Impact Assessment

6.4      No EIA has been completed. However, consideration has been given to equalities and health inequalities in Annex 1.

Strategic Risk Management Issues

6.5      Following key strategic risks / mitigating actions are identified:



Plan not covering all aspects / not all stakeholders were able to contribute due to short turnaround

·         Plan shared with key stakeholders for input in October / November

·         Recognition by BCF regional team re challenges of completing the plan in very short turnaround / during winter pressures

·         Engage more widely and more deeply with stakeholders to agree a joint vision, priorities and a strategic approach as part of the development of the Place Integration Strategy in 2022

Metrics estimated at incorrect levels due to unprecedented surge and winter pressures in 21/22, Covid19 outlier data for 20/21

·         ‘No jeopardy’ approach by BCF regional team recognising challenges around forecasting

·         Targets for 21/22 have been developed to the best of our ability with input from NHS Frimley Health Foundation Trust (FHFT), adult social care teams, and other East Berkshire Better Care Fund leads.

Approval not given by regional BC team / DHSC

·         Support available through BCF regional team utilised

·         Positive initial feedback from BCF regional team prior to final submission


Climate Change Implications

6.6       The recommendation in Section 2 above are expected to have no impact on emissions of CO2. The reasons the Council believes that this will have no impact on emissions are that the BCF is an overarching plan / funding mechanism.

Background Papers


Annex 1 – Bracknell Forest BCF Narrative Plan 21/22

Annex 2 – Bracknell Forest BCF Planning template 21/22


Contact for further information

Julia McDonald, Commissioning Manager Integration, Bracknell Forest Council - 01344 354045,

[1] Better Care Fund policy framework: 2021 to 2022 - GOV.UK (