A fund set up to get health and social care bodies working better together should have been used to stave off controversial home care cuts, an MP has argued.

The Government’s Better Care Fund, valued at £60 million over two years in the Bradford district, aims to make sure medics and social care teams communicate better with each other to prevent vulnerable people from falling between the cracks.

It also includes a focus on preventative care and rehabilitation, to try to cut hospital admissions among the elderly and infirm.

A plan on how to use the cash in Bradford was officially signed off at a meeting of the Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board yesterday.

But Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) has argued that the money should have been used to avoid a cut to social care which also came into effect yesterday.

From now on, the Council will not provide home care to anyone judged to have only ‘moderate’ needs or below, while those with needs categorised as ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’ will continue to get help.

Mr Ward said: “We have fought long and hard against these callous care cuts and I will continue to do so until the Council understands the real long-term harm that they will pile on thousands of already very vulnerable people across the city. It will cost more money in the long term to address.”

Councillor Amir Hussain, executive member for adult services on Labour-led Bradford Council, said the Better Care Fund was not new money and was a pooling of existing resources.

He said: “It is wholly disingenuous of David Ward to pretend that the Better Care Fund, which has been top-sliced from other budgets, represents ‘additional’ money.”

Coun Hussain said the numbers of older and disabled people were increasing at the same time as the Council was facing huge cuts.