Health Select Committee Warns of Public Health Confusion
In its latest report, the governments Health Select Committee has warned that budget cuts have led to ‘fragmented leadership’ creating a ‘false economy’ which will serve to increase health inequalities.
Headed by Dr Sarah Wollaston, the conservative MP for Totnes, the committee highlighted the growing mismatch between the importance given to prevention in the NHS strategy and current spending cuts to local authority funding. Earlier this year, research by the Association of Directors of Public Health found that 63% of council leaders would need to use their reserves to cover cuts in areas such as public health.
The report is also critical of the fragmentation of commissioning responsibility which has led to confusion in a number of areas, with sexual health services one of the worst affected. Among the recommendations is the need to appoint a single cabinet minister with responsibility for embedding health across all areas of government policy.
Responding to the document, senior fellow for public health and health inequalities at the Kings Fund, David Buck said; “The government’s weak plan on childhood obesity underlines the need for a minister at the centre of government to co-ordinate public health policy across departments but, more importantly, to hold departments strongly to account for their actions. Funding reductions are already resulting in significant cuts to key services such as sexual health services and support for people who want to stop smoking.”
You can read a full copy of the report HERE.