William Eichler 06 February 2023

Councils ‘in the dark’ about public health funding

Councils ‘in the dark’ about public health funding  image
Image: FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock.com.

Vital frontline services, such as drug and alcohol treatment, tackling obesity and health visiting, are at risk of being cut unless Government announces public health funding for next year, council chiefs warn.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling on the Government to urgently publish the Public Health Grant funding allocations which councils will receive from April.

They say that time is ‘running out’ for local authorities to set budgets and spending plans for vital public health services.

‘Demand for vital treatment including mental health support was high before the pandemic. In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is even more urgent that these services are properly funded,’ said Cllr David Baines, vice-chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

‘Councils are currently in the dark about public health funding and this can’t go on. Residents and our communities need clarity.

‘Every pound invested by government in council-run services such as public health helps to relieve pressure on other services like the NHS and the criminal justice system.

‘The Government needs to give councils the clarity they need so they can increase investment to protect the health of our local communities over the coming months and years and to ensure all local authorities can continue to meet their public health responsibilities into the future.’

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