Mark Whitehead 10 December 2018

Whitehall to cut £85m from public health budget

Local authorities have warned they are having to make 'difficult decisions' over maintaining public health services.

The Local Government Association (LGA) was responding to a warning by sexual health campaigners the Terrence Higgins Trust that the Government is planning to cut the public health budget by £85m.

The trust called on the Government to reverse the cuts to continue reducing cases of HIV and tackle high rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: 'Despite budget reductions, councils are determined to maintain vital public health services to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives, but the reality is that many local authorities are having to make difficult decisions on these key services.

He added: 'We have repeatedly argued that reductions to councils’ public health budgets is short-sighted and needs to be reversed otherwise they will undermine the objectives we all share to improve the public’s health.

'We urge Government to reverse reductions to councils’ public health budgets and give local authorities more funding to further this cost-effective work. Any extra funding for the NHS should also include public health funding for councils as the two are so intrinsically linked.'

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