Laura Sharman 03 August 2015

Councils asked how best to manage £200m public health cuts

Councils asked how best to manage £200m public health cuts image

Councils have been asked how the £200m reduction in public health funding should be implemented in a new consultation document.

The Department of Health (DH) has opened its consultation on the £200m reduction to the Public Health Grant, stating its preferred option is a standard 6.2% cut to all local authorities.

However, it is also asking for feedback on other options such as identifying which local authorities have more in unspent reserves or reducing the grant dependent on individual circumstances.

The consultation asks how best the £200m saving should be spread across the local authorities involved, how local authorities can be helped to implement the savings and minimise any disruption to services, and how best the impact of the cuts can be assessed.

However, Leeds City Council has warned the cut in preventative care will cost local authorities more in the long run due to increased use of public services.

Cllr Lisa Mulherin, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: ‘There is no rationale for the way this is being done, and it is pulling the rug from under our feet as we try to invest in helping the health of those with least in the city.

‘Just as we were starting to see the benefits of targeted public health work in Leeds, with a narrowing gap between health between the poorest and best off parts of the city, we are losing the opportunity build on this and reduce future burdens on GPs, hospitals and other health and care services.'

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