Public health funding

A new analysis published today by the Health Foundation has revealed that the public health grant has been cut by 24 per cent in real terms per capita since 2015/16 (equivalent to a reduction of £1billion).

In North Somerset, the per capita cut to Government public health funding has been £16.83 per person per year, leaving local services around £3million a year worse off than previously.

Councillor Mike Bell, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council and responsible for public health said: "Even before the pandemic, a boy born in one of the poorest areas of North Somerset could expect to live nearly 10 fewer years in good health than a boy born in one of the wealthiest. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have only further widened this gulf.

"The Government has promised to improve support for public health and says that it recognises that levelling up health is fundamental to levelling up economically. But without reversing cuts to the public health grant, inequality will just be entrenched rather than tackled.

"I strongly welcome the call today from the Health Foundation and the Association of Directors of Public Health who are urging the government to increase funding for public health following years of underinvestment. They are right to do so. I've written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to back their call. Action is needed now."

You can find local data here: Improving the nation’s health: The future of the public health system in England.