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Department of Health Launches Consultation on Public Health Cuts

August 7, 2015
Public Health

public-health-piggyThe Department of Health is seeking the views of local authorities on the proposed £200 million cut to the public health budget for the year 2015/16.

The four-week consultation contains three questions in an attempt to identify the best method to impose the cuts. The DoH’s preferred option is to reduce the public health grant across the board by 6.2%, a move it says would ‘enable the department to quickly provide LAs with certainty on what would be required of them.’

Ministers are also interested in thoughts on how to impose the budget cuts with minimum disruption to services and future measures to understand the impacts of savings. Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Associations community wellbeing board, believes that any cuts will have an inevitable knock-on effect on NHS services. “A £200m in-year reduction in public health funding will clearly impact on councils’ ability to improve the public’s health and wellbeing,” she said. “With further reductions in public spending expected next year, we need to move away from a focus of treating sickness to actively promoting health and wellbeing. Cutting public health budgets is not the solution.”

Funding allocations are already set to change in October when responsibility for commissioning public health services for children under five transfer from the NHS to local authorities.

You can view the full consultation document HERE.