Northumberland public health spending falls by over a fifth

Public health funding in Northumberland has been cut by over a fifth over six years in real terms, new analysis reveals.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 1:07 pm
Public health spending cut

Analysis by the Health Foundation shows Northumberland was allocated £16.8m through the public health grant for 2021-22 – around £59 for every resident under the age of 75 – 21% less than in 2015-16, when it received £74 per head in real terms.

The decrease nationally was 24% per capita over this period, which the Health Foundation say is equivalent to a reduction of £1bn in real terms.

This central funding is given to local authorities to deliver preventative and treatment services, such as help to stop smoking, children’s health services and sexual health clinics.

Jo Bibby, director of health at the Health Foundation, said: “As the country emerges from the biggest health crisis it has ever faced, public health is as important as it’s ever been.

“While there is a clear need for further investment in the NHS, to aid recovery from the pandemic and tackle the backlog in care, this must not be at the expense of funding for public health.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The Government is supporting directors of public health and their teams to protect and improve public health and wellbeing by making over £10bn available to local councils to address the wider costs and impacts of Covid-19.

“We have also increased the local authority public health grant to over £3.3bn this year and allocated additional funding to tackle obesity and drug addiction.”