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Government announces £200m cuts to public health budget

Public health budgets are set to be slashed by £200m this year under a raft of measures to ‘bring down public debt’, the Government has announced.

The announcement, made yesterday by Chancellor George Osborne, listed the cut in funding as Department of Health (DH) ‘non-NHS’ savings.

It means the £2.8bn originally earmarked for councils to spend on public health in 2015/16 will be cut by 7%.

A Treasury spokesperson told Pulse the £200m figure was based on projected local authority underspends and that the cut in funding would not affect frontline services.

The spokesperson added that the underspend will be used to make savings elsewhere, but said this will not affect frontline services. There will also be a consultation on how the savings will be made.

A DH spokesperson said: ‘The NHS budget will remain protected but difficult decisions need to be made right across Government to reduce the deficit.

‘Local authorities have already set an excellent example of how more can be done for less to provide the best value for the taxpayer. A consultation will now be held with them to decide the best way of delivering the savings that need to be made.’

Readers' comments (6)

  • In the same way that dropping an atomic bomb doesn't affect people 20 miles down wind . It's the fallout -smug face .

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  • What does ' public health' do with £2.8 billion!!!!! Can I help please?

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  • The Public Health budgets include health visiting, school nursing, drug and alcohol Treatment, Healthchecks, smoking cessation and whatever general council expenditure the local authority can try and argue promotes health and wellbeing. Healthchecks is a pretty big chunk and up to now has been mandatory for councils to fund. Given the lack of evidence for their efficacy, councils will surely be arguing they should be allowed to drop Healthchecks if they are to have the flexibility to cope with these cuts.

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  • Lets have more cuts to Public Health, make people take responsibility for their own health!! After all, most of what we are talking about here are "lifestyle choices" and haven't all governments for the last 40 years constantly harped on about "Choice?"

    And while we're at it don't forget to make even bigger cuts to the welfare budget and get all these scroungers back into work!!! We'll soon clear the deficit if we stop paying all these scroungers. Give them all choice......... work and live well.......... or die............ Your choice........ the tax payers saving.

    I should've been a politician!!!! Now where's my pills?? I must get back to the asylum they'll all be looking for me shortly!!

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  • Born in the wrong place with the wrong genes. It is happenstance, chance, coincidence, whatever. Maybe we all have free will, maybe we do not.
    NHS manager may have been born with Einstein's brains. I think not, there is nature and nurture and I don't think he thinks.

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  • One one hand, GPs are promised an increase in budgets by central government.

    On the other - cut in local government's spending on public health.

    Two non-stories.

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