03 Apr 2024
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

Better Care Fund policy framework 2023 to 2025

A policy paper has been published on the Better Care Fund policy framework 2023 to 2025, which sets the national conditions, metrics and funding arrangements for the Better Care Fund in financial years 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025. The core objectives of enabling people to stay well, safe and independent at home for longer and providing people with the right care, at the right place, at the right time remain. The BCF is intended to achieve this by requiring integrated care boards (ICBs) and local government to agree a joint plan, owned by the health and wellbeing board (HWB), governed by an agreement under section 75 of the NHS Act (2006).

Research on local government budget setting

A report by the Local Government Association on local government budget setting surveys 2024/25, indicates the difficulties councils in England have had in setting their budgets. Despite £600 million in additional funding for councils for financial year 2024/25, survey results showed the majority (85 per cent) of respondent councils still anticipated having to make cost savings to set their budgets.

ADASS CEO to step down

Cathie Williams, the joint Chief Executive of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has announced that she will step down from her position this summer, following ten years in her role.

Government’s progress on health and social care

Jess Holden, Policy Advisor at the King’s Fund, has published an update on the health and social care commitments made by the government before the 2019 election.

MHRA warns of unsafe counterfeit anti-choking devices

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning to the public not to buy counterfeit or unbranded anti-choking devices as they do not comply with device regulations and could cause harm. The Agency estimates that over 10,000 counterfeit or unbranded anti-choking devices, also known as airway clearance devices, choking rescue devices or emergency first aid devices, have been purchased within the last two years from online marketplaces.

Burkholderia cenocepacia - update

The UK Health Security Agency issued a National Patient Safety Alert in December on potential contamination of some carbomer-containing lubricating eye products with Burkholderia cenocepacia. UKHSA reported recently there have been 52 confirmed and six probable cases linked to the bacteria (with specimen dates from January 2023 to February 2024) and 38 people needed critical care. The report says MHRA has now received “sufficient assurance from manufacturers and suppliers to conclude that products available on the UK market are safe to use and free of contamination”.

Latest data on scarlet fever published

Latest statistics from the UK Health Security Agency show that scarlet fever is circulating, as expected for this time of year. UKHSA say there were 12,176 cases of scarlet fever notified between 1 January and 24 March 2024. This is higher than the average for the previous 5 years, but below the high levels seen for the same period in 2023 (15,933). NHS information on scarlet fever.

NHS prescription charges

Information has been published about NHS prescription charges from 1 May 2024 - GOV.UK.

Senior doctors industrial action ends as government offer accepted

Consultants' unions have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the government's offer, with BMA and HCSA voting yes by around 83%, ending strike action by senior doctors: End of NHS consultant strike action as government offer accepted - GOV.UK.

Stress awareness month

April is Stress awareness month.  The Health and Safety Executive's Working Minds campaign invites employers and managers to focus on one of the campaign’s 5 steps for each of the 5 weeks.  More information and a video at: Working Minds - Work Right to keep Britain safe.

Why ‘About Me’ is relevant to health and care providers

The Professional Records Standards Body has produced an infographic explaining why their About me information standard is relevant to providing personalised care. The About Me standard contains the most important information that a person wants to share with professionals in health and care. About Me is about the person, written by them or their carer, and relevant to all settings in health and social care.

Ambition to lead applications open to 6 May 2024

The Queen’s Nursing Institute is calling for applications to the Ambition to Lead programme (formerly known as Aspiring Nurse Leaders programme), designed to assist the professional development of experienced nurses and allied health professionals working in the community to become future leaders in healthcare.

Mock CVP Employment Tribunal training

Anthony Collins Solicitors are holding Mock CVP (video hearing) Employment Tribunal training based on a recording of a fictional CVP hearing with commentary and advice on specific issues. The training gives a general overview of the Tribunal claims process and describes the main differences between hearings by video and in person. Costs and booking.

Human Rights Act and Social Care

The British Institute of Human Rights are working alongside Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living, the grassroots organisation that advocates for Disabled people to host a free online workshop about the Human Rights Act and Social Care. The event takes place on Thursday 4 April between 2pm-3:30pm. Email [email protected] for tickets.

Are people with dementia eligible for a Blue Badge?

The Alzheimer's Society has published an article explaining the criteria for a Blue Badge in England and how it may apply to a person with dementia. 

Visiting guidance published

The Care Quality Commission has published final guidance to help providers understand and meet the new fundamental standard on visiting and accompanying in care homes, hospitals, and hospices. The guidance also sets out what people using health and social care services and their families, friends or advocates can expect.

Second national insurance cut in a year

The second national insurance cut in a year commences from 6 April 2024, when the NI rate falls from 10% to 8%: National insurance cut to kick in but more pay tax - BBC News.  This article includes a calculator so employees can work out what the cut means to them.


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