Public Health

24.10.18

Public health services need £3.2bn funding to reverse impact of government cuts

An extra £3.2bn is needed each year to reverse the impact that government cuts to the public health grant has had on health services.

The public health grant – which enables local authorities to deliver vital public services such as obesity programmes, drug and alcohol services and sexual health services – has seen a £700m real-term decrease in funding between 2014-15 and 2019-20.

The report, published by the Health Foundation, highlights that the cuts have not protected the areas with the greatest deprivation which “risks increasing health inequalities at a time when the government has pledged to tackle such injustices.”

The funding cuts equate to a fall of almost a quarter per person (23.5%) and come at a time when life expectancy improvements are stalling for the first time in over 100 years.

The Health Foundation says that additional money is now needed to reallocate the grant to help with “restoring damaging real term losses,” and recommends, at a minimum, that the government should reverse the real term cuts and invest in the most deprived areas by providing £1.3bn more in funding by 2019-20.

The independent charity says the remaining £1.9bn should be allocated in phased budget increases over the following four years.

Jo Bibby, director of health at the Health Foundation, said: “While the secretary of state has rightly identified prevention as one of his three key priorities, the sustained cuts to the public health grant – a vital means of support for local authorities to tackle the causes of ill health – clearly run counter to this.

“At a time of ongoing wider cuts to public services that directly impact on people’s health, and with the NHS under intense pressure, the cuts to the public health grant are short sighted and irresponsible.

“The long-term consequences of eroding people’s health are likely to prove far costlier than the short-term savings made.”

The cuts to the public health grant are in addition to extensive cuts to the budgets of local authorities of 32.6% since 2010-11, which has led to falls to spending on wider local services.

Numerous health organisations have appealed for public health and social care to take priority in the Autumn Budget, or otherwise “risk the NHS failing to meet demands.”

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit -  Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NHS England, DHSC rejects reports that patients’ 30-year right to choose where they are treated is under threat

22/02/2019NHS England, DHSC rejects reports that patients’ 30-year right to choose where they are treated is under threat

NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have rejected reports that the rights of patients to be able to choose where they... more >
NHS staff and families to be evicted under plans to close accommodation

22/02/2019NHS staff and families to be evicted under plans to close accommodation

Staff at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust could be forced out of their homes as the trust’s plans to close the accommodation at ... more >
NHS staff to receive ‘fast-track’ mental health support as part of wellbeing plans

21/02/2019NHS staff to receive ‘fast-track’ mental health support as part of wellbeing plans

The government has pledged to provide better mental health and wellbeing support for NHS staff as part of its ‘workforce implementation pla... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan?

20/02/2019Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan?

In January the NHS released its much-anticipated Long Term plan, pledging to save 500,000 lives through new prevent strategies, and making a concerted effort to improve the general public’s health. But Simon Keen, media relations manager at NHS Providers, poses the question: Did Brexit drown out the NHS Long Term plan? Brexit. Bruss... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News