Councils and healthcare providers plan to pool £5.4bn as part of their efforts to integrate health and social care for the government’s Better Care fund, the Local Government Association has revealed.

This new figure was revealed by the LGA as it urged the government to commit to the integration project for five years- four beyond the current spending review period.

Such an extension would avoid councils’ care services “spiralling towards a deeper crisis”, the local authority umbrella body said.

According to the LGA, £5.4bn has already been pooled for  Better Care plans for 2015-16, 40 per cent more than the £3.8bn minimum required by the Department of Health.

The association has also called for a separate “transformation fund” to ease the initial impact of the changes.

LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: “It is indisputable that in order to improve the lives of older and vulnerable people in this country there is a need for significant changes to the way that social care is funded.

“A five-year commitment to join up funding between health and social care would provide the certainty and stability required to transform care services for the people who need and rely on them.

“Evidence has shown that integrating health and social care means people will receive better care at home and a reduced need for hospital beds.

“The Better Care Fund is a good start, but it would be short-sighted to expect it to solve the problems of the health and social care system overnight.

“Health and social care partners have shown their confidence in joining up their funding by putting in additional money over and above what was required by the Department of Health, but despite this there has still not been any indication that funding will be extended beyond this first year.”