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Cuts to public health funding a tragic folly, public health leader warns

Cuts to public health funding are a false economy of the worst kind, the Faculty of Public Health's Vice President has warned.

Responding to today’s announcement of the local government funding settlement by the Department of Communities and Local Government, Professor Simon Capewell said: "It is tragic that the government has failed to heed warnings that cuts to public health funding are a false economy of the worst kind. This settlement fails to undo that damage.

Professor Capewell said: "Last year councillors were forced to cut £220 million from vital public health services such as smoking cessation and measures to tackle the obesity crisis now engulfing our children and adults alike. This year councillors had to make further cuts of £72 million. Now councillors and their dedicated officers face having to cut an additional £84 million from these vital services.

"Let’s be clear: these sums are not Monopoly money. They represent a tragedy for people in who will go on to develop chronic, life-shortening diseases. And, as the hugely-respected King’s Fund pointed out recently, those people will need additional NHS care and treatment costing billions of pounds. All potentially avoidable.

"These cuts are not just cruel, they are folly."

Written: 15/12/2016 , last modified: 04/01/2017