New reductions to the public health grant will heap more pressure on local authorities Health Foundation response to Public Health Grant funding announcement

20 December 2018

David Finch, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said: 

‘Reductions to the public health grant announced today will heap more pressure on local authorities that are already struggling following significant budget cuts carried out over a decade of austerity. Not only will this further constrain local authorities’ ability to deliver vital public health programmes such as obesity, drug and alcohol, sexual health and children's services, but further reductions risk undermining the role directors of public health play in influencing wider services that affect people’s health - including housing and transport. 

‘The settlement announced today by the Department for Health and Social Care confirms a real term cut of £240m in just one year.

‘The Health Foundation’s analysis shows there has been a £900m real terms reduction in funding between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The core public health grant has fallen by a quarter (25%) per person since 2014/15. Worryingly, these funding cuts come at a time when life expectancy improvements are stalling and inequalities are widening, and they have so far failed to protect the areas in greatest need.

‘Increasing spending for the NHS while cutting funding for services that impact health is a false economy. If the government is serious about delivering on its prevention vision, this will have to be matched with adequate funding for the things that maintain and improve people’s health – not just the health care services that treat people when they become unwell.

‘Rather than implementing further cuts, we calculate an additional £3bn a year is required to reverse the impact of government cuts to the public health grant and ensure that it is re-allocated according to need.’

Media contact

Susannah McIntyre, External Affairs Manager

Susannah.mcintyre@health.org.uk

07388118004

Further reading

Briefing

Taking our health for granted

October 2018
Briefing

This briefing paper assesses the extent of cuts to the public health grant since 2014/15 and...

Learning report

A place to grow

December 2018
Learning report

The second report from the Young people’s future health inquiry, exploring site visits with young...

You might also like...

Press release

This Budget must protect those most at risk from the pandemic and its financial consequences

Press release

Comment from the Health Foundation ahead of next week's Budget.

Press release

Research highlights need for a transport system that better supports the nation’s health

Press release

Our new analysis finds an increase in walking and cycling could prevent up to around 6,100 deaths a...

Newsletter feature

Anchored in place

Newsletter feature

We spoke to Michael Wood, Head of Health Economic Partnerships at NHS Confederation, about the...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Living in poverty was bad for your health long before #COVID19. But the crisis has thrown #HealthInequalities into… https://t.co/ORbMZgPMHS

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more