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Cuts to local authority public health budgets threaten vital services and the sustainability of the NHS

The Department of Health have announced plans to go ahead with their proposed cut to the public health budget in England. There will be a flat rate cut across all local authority public health budgets in England. Professor John Ashton, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health said: “This is deeply disappointing news, not just for local authorities but for the communities they serve. 

How can we effectively tackle the major chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity – all of which cost the NHS tens of millions of pounds each year - if we cut essential funding to the very services we need to prevent people becoming ill in the first place. We’re also worried that those local authority areas with higher levels of deprivation are going to be hit the hardest through this flat rate cut. We’re going to see vital services cut or not put in place because of this announcement – all of which will impact on people’s health and wellbeing. We raised these concerns with the Chancellor in our joint letter, and to the Department of Health, in our consultation response.

If we want to achieve a healthier, more sustainable future for our children, our families and our communities, which the government has committed to through its support of the five year forward view, then we need greater investment in public health, not less.”

Written: 06/11/2015 , last modified: 02/03/2016