Public health grant allocations represent a 24% (£1bn) real terms cut compared to 2015/16 Health Foundation response to announcement of of the public health grant allocations for 2021–22

16 March 2021

In response to the announcement of the public health grant allocations 2021–22, David Finch, Senior Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:  

‘This year’s public health grant allocations provide only a small £45 million increase on last year. This is a 24% cut – equivalent to £1bn – on a real term per capita basis compared to 2015/16. These allocations have come late, just before the start of the next financial year, making planning ahead even more difficult.

‘Local authority public health teams have a vital part to play in the national response to COVID-19, working alongside the NHS. The pandemic has shone a light on the essential work these teams do and reinforces the need for a properly funded, resilient local public health system.

‘In the longer term, public health funding is of crucial importance to improve health and address inequalities that have been further exacerbated by the pandemic. Looking ahead, it is important that, at a minimum, government restores the grant to 2015/16 levels by investing an extra £1 billion a year and then ensures that the grant keeps pace with growth in NHS England’s spend.’

Further information

Public health grant allocations have fallen in real terms from £4.2 billion in 2015–16 to £3.3 billion in 2021–22. On a per head basis that equates to a 24% cut since initial allocations were made in 2015–16.

The government today announced a £45m cash increase in the public health grant for 2021–22. The public health grant for 2021–22 is £3.324 billion

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

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