“We are delighted that the Secretary of State has accepted the LGA’s powerful case for councils to keep their vital role and valued responsibilities for providing public health services, rather than transferring them back to the NHS."
Responding to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement today that public health services will remain with local government, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: "We are delighted that the Secretary of State has accepted the LGA’s powerful case for councils to keep their vital role and valued responsibilities for providing public health services, rather than transferring them back to the NHS.
“Councils have worked hard to provide and commission these services, including sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol treatment services and health visitors, despite facing reductions of £700 million to their public health grant between 2015/16 and 2019/20.
"Commissioning of sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services is complex. The only way forward is through a whole system approach where together we commission services in a more collaborative way.
"Demand for sexual health services continues to grow and, particularly with the ongoing financial pressures facing local authorities, it is essential that the public health system works together to the deliver the best value for the population and ensure we have a strong service with ease of access and joined up support.
"Local councils have brought new energy and rigour to the commissioning of sexual health services, often transforming who delivers them, where and how, helping to deliver good results despite rising demand and cuts to their public health budgets.”
Notes to editors
- Councils are calling for a reversal of public health grants, which have been reduced by £700 million in real terms from 2015/16 to 2019/20.
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.