The Government has announced that Calderdale will face an immediate cut of £797,000 from its public health budget, as part of the Governments pursuit of its £3 billion deficit reduction cuts for 2015/16.
The Department of Health was ordered to deliver savings of £200 million through an in-year cut to the Public Health Grant which is given to local councils. This has resulted in a £797,000 reduction for Calderdale.
But this irresponsible cut is a complete false economy. The Faculty of Public Health estimates that the knock on effects of the national cut will mean the NHS itself will have to spend an extra £1billion. That’s about an extra £4m extra spending within our local NHS.
The announcement flies in the face of NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens’ vision of “a radical upgrade in prevention and public health” and for the NHS and partners to get serious about prevention, as he outlined in the Five Year Forward View.
Halifax MP, Holly Lynch says:
“These cuts will cause untold damage to the health and wellbeing of our community, particularly in the most deprived areas, but they are also at odds with the health service’s strategic objectives and make no financial sense in the long term. Every pound slashed from the Public Health budget places more pressure on our already strained NHS.”
Cllr Simon Young, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellbeing and Engagement at Calderdale Council says:
“These cuts are short-sighted and reckless and could have a real detrimental impact on our ability to improve the health and well-being of people here in Calderdale.
“Important projects we had planned to deliver will have to be shelved, or indefinitely delayed as a result of this announcement. From investment to tackle air quality, to projects aimed at reducing childhood obesity, levels of infant mortality and low birth weight will all fall victims to these cuts.
“These cuts are a complete false economy that will cost the tax payer far more! It’s estimated that the £797,000 cut to Calderdale could actually mean the local NHS will have to find an extra £4million.
“We’re bracing ourselves for deeper, more sustained cuts to Public Health and local government in general, when the Chancellor delivers his Comprehensive Spending Review on November 25th.”