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Decision on public health funding is delayed

The Department of Health has released a statement today saying that it will be announcing the public health funding allocations in the New Year. Responding to this decision, Professor Lindsey Davies, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:

"We would expect many of our members to be disappointed that this critical decision about how public health will be funded in just over 12 week's time has not yet been made. Many of our members are unsure if they will have a job in April, and so it is vital that plans are put in place so that the transition is carried out smoothly.

"Otherwise, there is a risk that:

- the public will not be properly protected against infectious disease
- parents will not have access to vaccinations for their children
- drug, alcohol and sexual health services will not be funded and
- a substantial group of voluntary and community sector public health improvement projects will not be funded.

"We welcome the assurance that the level of public health funding will be known for two years, which will make it easier to plan for the long-term so that public resources are used as effectively as possible. However, the Department of Health (DH) has been able to calculate a two year allocation at least since the summer when baseline budgets were being recalculated.

"We urge the DH and Treasury to make known the allocations early in the New Year to overcome this destabilising uncertainty. At a time when tough decisions are being made about which services will be cut back, it will also be vital that local authorities make sure that ringfenced public health funding is properly protected."

Written: 20/12/2012 , last modified: 14/03/2013