Prevention is better than cure

Public Health

Today – Friday, 23rd October 2015 – a coalition of medical Royal Colleges, local government bodies and health charities have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne to reverse the £200 million ‘in year’ cuts to local authority public health budgets in his Comprehensive Spending Review due to be published in November.

The letter states that the proposed £200 million ‘in year’ 2015/16 cuts to local Councils’ public health budgets equating to £1.5 million for Lewisham Council is a “false economy” as it could cost the NHS in excess of £1 billion in the longer term.
By slashing funds in the remaining few months of this year will have a direct impact on people and local communities who rely on the NHS services provided with this money. The signatories to the letter say: “It is misleading to suggest that the NHS budget is being protected”.
Lewisham Council rejected the Governments proposals in a recent snap consultation over the summer and unanimously passed a motion reaffirming its position at the full Council meeting on 23rd September 2015 asking that the cuts be reversed. The text of the motion proposed by Councillor Alan Hall is here:
Lewisham Councillor Alan Hall said: “Royal Colleges, Chief Executives of local councils up and down the country, nurses and other professional bodies agree that slashing public health budgets during the year is a ‘false economy’. It is damaging to our local hospitals, GPs and local residents. I agree with the health clinicians calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have a rethink. 
In a city where scarlet fever, rickets and TB are reappearing we cannot return to a Dickensian view of public health services.
First published on Alan Hall’s own blog