Government insist Better Care Fund is on schedule

The government has dismissed widespread reports that the introduction of the Better Care Fund will be delayed.

Many media outlets had reported this morning that the £3.8bn-a-year fund, which will see adult social care and NHS budgets pooled and was due to start in April 2015, has been put on hold after the Cabinet Office raised concerns about the quality of local implementation plans.

Earlier reports said the Cabinet Office, which is reviewing the quality of the plans, is concerned about a lack of clarity on how the expected savings from the fund would be delivered.

A Department of Health spokeswoman added: “We have set aside time to make sure all areas have developed comprehensive plans for joined-up care.

“The Better Care plans start from April 2015, and we asked for early versions to be completed a year in advance so we could review them, check their level of ambition and test how they would be delivered.

“This is what is happening now.”

The Care Bill, which will legislate for the creation of the fund, is due to be approved by Parliament today.