With just one month to go before the new financial year, the Institute of Health Visiting has joined over 30 leaders of public health, NHS bodies and health charities calling on the Government to urgently publish next year’s Public Health Grant allocation.
The coalition, led by the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), the NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), is also urging ministers to increase investment in public health and prevention – a strategy which, although known to have a long-term benefits to individuals, communities, the NHS and wider economy, has been repeatedly overlooked in recent years.
In a joint statement published today, leaders across the sector have outlined their concerns to the Government:
The Government’s delay in publishing the Public Health Grant allocation for 2023/24 is putting public health services at risk and adding unnecessary strain on an already pressured system.
In addition to not yet knowing what the public health budget will look like for the coming year, we are extremely concerned that the delay will be exacerbated by either only a small increase or another flat cash settlement.
Despite several important Government strategies being sidelined or delayed – including the updated Healthy Child Programme – there have been a series of promising announcements giving a commitment to public health initiatives. However, these initiatives are not being adequately – or consistently – funded. In particular, the Best Start in Life strategy fails to meet the scale of rising need and does not address the workforce shortages in health visiting.
Instead, funding has been cut in real terms by almost a quarter since 2015. While the current investment is of course welcomed, anything less than inflation is in effect a cut and, as a result, it is impossible for providers to keep up either with policy ambitions or the growing demand on these vital public health services. We simply cannot keep delivering more for less.
Without investing in evidence-based measures that are proven to prevent and reduce physical and mental ill health, demand on the NHS will continue to rise, sickness in the workforce will continue to increase and the economy will continue to suffer as a result.
Greg Fell, ADPH Vice President said:
“We can’t plan high quality, value for money, services without knowing how much money there is to spend on them. Individuals, their families – and therefore their communities – will undoubtedly suffer purely as a result of this delay”.
You can support the cross sector call on Government to urgently publish the Public Health Grant allocation by sharing the link to the coalition statement on social media.
Suggested social media posts are:
- With just one month to go before the new financial year, over 30 leaders of public health, NHS bodies & health charities are calling on the Government to urgently publish next year’s public health grant allocation #PHGrantDelay
- The Government’s delay in publishing the Public Health Grant allocation for 2023/24 is putting #publichealth services at risk & adding unnecessary strain on an already pressured system #PHGrantDelay #CutsCostLives
- Without investing in evidence-based measures that are proven to prevent & reduce physical & mental ill health: demand on the NHS will rise, sickness in the workforce will rise & the economy will suffer #CutsCostLives #PHGrantDelay
The message is so much more powerful when said together and your support is very much appreciated!