The British Medical Journal has said councils in England are using public health budgets to fund other services. Local councils in England took over responsibility – and funding – for public health last April.
The BMJ says Freedom of Information requests reveal a third have stopped at least one public health service, with money being spent on other services such as parks and leisure instead. But the Local Government Association said the report was “scaremongering”. A spokesman said: “Spending levels on public health have remained consistent and it is inaccurate and wholly misleading to suggest that local authorities have been siphoning off funds to prop up services elsewhere.”
Olly from PSI: This report will place even more pressure on Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham to neuter his proposals to give local authorities huge swathes of the health budget, given fears they would be include to use the funds to plug gaping holes in other services unrelated to health and well-being.