The announcement of an allocation of £3.3bn in public health funding for councils during 2021-2, 1.4% on last year’s budget, does not go far enough in providing local public health teams with the resource they need to tackle the challenges of the year ahead.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, local public health teams have performed key leadership roles in the pandemic response, and we have seen the importance of a properly funded public health system at local, regional and national level.
Whilst at national level we have seen huge investment in programmes such as NHS Test and Trace, the announcement of this small increase in public health funding for local teams is inadequate at a time when protecting and improving the public’s health has never been so important.
FPH President Professor Maggie Rae said
“After years of austerity and budget cuts, populations across the UK were already facing stalling life expectancies and widening health inequalities before COVID-19 hit. The result of the pandemic has been to not only expose these problems, but also to exacerbate them.
If the Government truly holds ambitions to ‘level-up’ , tackle health inequalities and recover from the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, it must recognise the importance of public health leadership at local level and provide these teams with the proper funding they so desperately need.”
The Faculty of Public Health repeats our call for a £1 billion increase in funding for local public health, and joins with the Association of Directors of Public Health and LGA in calling for a multi-year settlement for public health.