A London council has refused to sign off its better care fund plan after failing to reach an agreement with NHS commissioners on how to use part of the proposed pooled budget.
Hillingdon council’s health and wellbeing board has refused to ratify the plan following a dispute over how new costs attached to the Care Act would be funded.
The council had expected to receive around £800,000 routed through Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group via the better care fund specifically to meet those costs.
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The £5.3bn national better care fund includes £135m of funding for implementing the Care Act, which imposes new financial burdens on councils in the form of increased care assessments, information, advice, and support for carers.
However, council leader Ray Puddifoot told HSJ that the CCG had not wanted to pass on its portion of the fund. The council has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt seeking clarification on whether the CCG is allowed to withhold the £800,000.
Mr Hunt has not yet replied and the council has refused to sign off the plan until it receives a response.
While the plan has not been signed off either by the local health and wellbeing board or the council as a whole, Hillingdon CCG has still submitted the better care fund plan to the Department of Health to meet its September deadline.
Although the issue affects only around 4 per cent of the total £18m fund in Hillingdon, the council is not expecting any progress to be made on the plan until the dispute is resolved.
The council had worked with the CCG on the plan before the disagreement over Care Act funding.
Mr Puddifoot said the plan was good, and blamed the disagreement on poor advice given to the CCG.